Tadeusz Różewicz – In the Midst of Life

Tadeusz Różewicz (October 09, 1921 – April 24, 2014) 

In the Midst of Life
After the end of the world
after death
I found myself in the midst of life
creating myself
building life
people animals landscapes
 
this is a table I said
this is a table
on the table is bread a knife
a knife is to cut bread
people live on bread
 
man must be loved
I studied night and day
what must be loved
I answered man

this is a window I said
this is a window
beyond the window is a garden
in the garden I see an apple tree
the apple tree is in bloom
the blossoms fall
the fruits form
ripen
 
my father picks an apple
that man picking the apple
is my father
 
I sat in the doorway of my house
that old woman who
is leading a goat by a rope
is more necessary
and more precious
than the seven wonders of the world
anyone who thinks and feels
that she is not necessary
is a mass-murderer
 
this is a man
this is a tree this is bread
 
people eat to live
I repeated to myself
human life is important
human life is of great import
the value of life
outweighs the value of all things
created by man
man is a great treasure
I kept repeating stubbornly
 
this is water I said
I stroked the waves with my hand
and talked to the river
water I said
nice water
this is me
 
a man was talking to the water
talking to the moon
the flowers the rain
talking to the earth
the birds
I the sky
 
the sky was silent
the earth was silent
if he heard a voice
flowing
from earth water and sky
it was the voice of another man

Translated by Magnus J. Krynski and Robert A. Maguire

Congratulations to me on the completion of my 73rd voyage around the sun.