June 07, 2011

Song on the End of the World by Czeslaw Milosz

La Tomate by Lucille's Kitchen

Song on the End of the World
by Czeslaw Milosz, Warsaw, 1944

On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.

On the day the world ends
Women walk though the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and angels’ trumpets
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
There will be no other end of the world,
There will be no other end of the world.


N.B. This week I will only be posting once a day--a piece of poetry paired with a work of art that you can purchase for your very own! I don't know about you, but sometimes I just need a week of poetry + beautiful art. (Find more poems here.)

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