* rockin’ with Zbigniew Herbert

There are some poems essential to my psyche that I’m surprised I haven’t posted on here yet.

This week’s poem by Zbigniew Herbert is one of them.

I remember reading it the first time years ago and just being floored. How the subject, a pebble, can be meditated upon and become some larger than itself is profound. You can see the mountain forming in reverse from the pebble of the lyric.


* who, me? *
* who, me? *

Pebble – Zbigniew Herbert

The pebble
is a perfect creature

equal to itself
mindful of its limits

filled exactly
with a pebbly meaning

with a scent that does not remind one of anything
does not frighten anything away does not arouse desire

its ardour and coldness
are just and full of dignity

I feel a heavy remorse
when I hold it in my hand
and its noble body
is permeated by false warmth

– Pebbles cannot be tamed
to the end they will look at us
with a calm and very clear eye

                                       Translated by Peter Dale Scott and Czeslaw Milosz


Happy clearing!


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