Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Balance

I watched the arctic landscape from above
and thought of nothing, lovely nothing.
I observed white canopies of clouds, vast
expanses where no wolf tracks could be found.

I thought about you and about the emptiness
that can promise one thing only: plenitude—
and that a certain sort of snowy wasteland
bursts from a surfeit of happiness.

As we drew closer to our landing,
the vulnerable earth emerged among the clouds,
comic gardens forgotten by their owners,
pale grass plagued by winter and the wind.

I put my book down and for an instant felt
a perfect balance between waking and dreams.
But when the plane touched concrete, then
assiduously circled the airport's labryinth,

I once again knew nothing. The darkness
of daily wanderings resumed, the day's sweet darkness,
the darkness of the voice that counts and measures,
remembers and forgets.

Credit


From Eternal Enemies by Adam Zagajewski. Copyright © 2008 by Adam Zagajewski. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. All rights reserved.

Author


Adam Zagajewski

Poet, novelist, essayist Adam Zagajewski was born in Lwów in 1945 and is a prominent member of Poland's contemporary poetry scene

Date Published: 2008-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/balance