Dominika kindly gave me a beautiful work of written art by Wislawa Szymborska, the much loved Polish poet. Dominika suggested I read this precious poem on love. I can see why.
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
They both thought
that a sudden feeling had united them
This certainty is beautiful,
Even more beautiful than uncertainty.
They thought they didn’t know each other,
nothing had ever happened between them,
These streets, these stairs, this corridors,
Where they could have met so long ago?
I would like to ask them,
if they can remember –
perhaps in a revolving door
face to face one day?
A “sorry” in the crowd?
“Wrong number” on the ‘phone?
– but I know the answer.
No, they don’t remember.
How surprised they would be
For such a long time already
Fate has been playing with them.
Not quite yet ready
to change into destiny,
which brings them nearer and yet further,
cutting their path
and stifling a laugh,
escaping ever further;
There were sings, indications,
undecipherable, what does in matter.
Three years ago, perhaps
or even last Tuesday,
this leaf flying
from one shoulder to another?
Something lost and gathered.
Who knows, perhaps a ball already
in the bushes, in childhood?
There were handles, door bells,
where, on the trace of a hand,
another hand was placed;
suitcases next to one another in the
And maybe one night the same dream
forgotten on walking;
But every beginning
is only a continuation
and the book of fate is
always open in the middle.
Translation from Polish by Roman Gren
Translation from French by Sarah Hardenberg