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





FUNERAL by Wislawa Szymborska

“so suddenly, who could have seen it coming”
“stress and smoking, I kept telling him”
“not bad, thanks, and you”
“these flowers need to be unwrapped”
“his brother’s heart gave out, too, it runs in the family”
“I’d never know you in that beard”
“he was asking for it, always mixed up in something”
“that new guy was going to make a speech, I don’t see him”
“Kazek’s in Warsaw, Tadek has gone abroad”
“you were smart, you brought the only umbrella”
“so what if he was more talented than they were”
“no, it’s a walk-through room, Barbara won’t take it”
“of course, he was right, but that’s no excuse”
“with body work and paint, just guess how much”
“two egg yolks and a tablespoon of sugar”
“none of his business, what was in it for him”
“only in blue and just small sizes”
“five times and never any answer”
“all right, so I could have, but you could have, too”
“good thing that at least she still had a job”
“don’t know, relatives, I guess”
“that priest looks like Belmondo”
“I’ve never been in this part of the grounds”
“I dreamed about him last week, I had a feeling”
“his daughter’s not bad-looking”
“the way of all flesh”
“give my best to the widow, I’ve got to run”
“it all sounded so much more solemn in Latin”
“what’s gone is gone”
“I could sure use a drink”
“give me a call”
“which bus goes downtown”
“I’m going this way”
“we’re not”


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