an opinion on the question of pornography / Wislawa Szymborska

There’s nothing more debauched than thinking.
This sort of wantonness runs wild like a wind-borne weed
on a plot laid out for daisies.

Nothing’s sacred for those who think.
Calling things brazenly by name,
risque analyses, salacious syntheses,
frenzied, rakish chases after the bare facts,
the filthy fingering of touchy subjects,
discussion in heat—it’s music to their ears.

In broad daylight or under cover of night
they form circles, triangles or pairs.
The partners’ age or sex are unimportant.
Their eyes glitter, their cheeks are flushed.
Friends leads friend astray.
Degenerate daughters corrupt their fathers.
A brother pimps for his little sister.

They prefer the fruits
from the forbidden tree of knowledge
to the pink buttocks found in glossy magazines—
all that ultimately simple-hearted smut.
The books they relish have no pictures.
What variety they have lies in certain phrases
marked with a thumbnail or a crayon.

It’s shocking, the positions,
The unchecked simplicity with which
one mind contrives to fertilize another!
Such positions the Kama Sutra itself doesn’t know.

During these trysts of theirs, the only thing that’s steamy is the tea.
People sit on their chairs and move their lips.
Everyone crosses only his own legs
so that one foot is resting on the floor
while the other dangles freely in midair.
Only now and then does somebody get up,
go to the window,
and through a crack in the curtains
take a peep out at the street. -Wislawa Szymbroska


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