metaphor/metamorphoses – 3/13/14

To the River

–       Zbigniew Herbert

trans. by John and Bogdana Carpenter


River – hourglass of water metaphor of eternity

I enter you more and more changed

so I could be a cloud a fish or rock

while you are the same like a clock that measures

the metamorphoses of the body and descents of the spirit

slow disintegration of tissues and love


I who am born of clay

want to be your pupil

and learn the spring the Olympian heart

o cool torch rustling column

bedrock of my faith and my despair


river teach me stubbornness and endurance

so in the last hour I become worthy

of rest in the shade of the great delta

in the holy triangle of the beginning and of the end


[if, a schechner suggests, art may have as its social aims transportation or transformation – relaying audiences to their next action, or causing an action, instancing change – then through silence we reawaken the opportunity to be agents of change, who change?]

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