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(Panhala) Among the Multitudes by Wislawa Szymborska

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  • wdestiny44@aol.com
    AMONG THE MULTITUDES I am who I am. A coincidence no less unthinkable than any other. I could have different ancestors, after all. I could have fluttered
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 2, 2009
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      AMONG THE MULTITUDES
       
      I am who I am.
      A coincidence no less unthinkable
      than any other.
       
      I could have different
      ancestors, after all.
      I could have fluttered
      from another nest
      or crawled bescaled
      from another tree.
       
      Nature's wardrobe
      holds a fair
      supply of costumes:
      Spider, seagull, field mouse.
      each fits perfectly right off
      and is dutifully worn
      into shreds.
       
      I didn't get a choice either,
      but I can't complain.
      I could have been someone
      much less separate.
      someone from an anthill, shoal, or buzzing swarm,
      an inch of landscape ruffled by the wind.
       
      Someone much less fortunate,
      bred for my fur
      or Christmas dinner,
      something swimming under a square of glass.
       
      A tree rooted to the ground
      as the fire draws near.
       
      A grass blade trampled by a stampede
      of incomprehensible events.
       
      A shady type whose darkness
      dazzled some.
       
      What if I'd prompted only fear,
      Loathing,
      or pity?
       
      If I'd been born
      in the wrong tribe
      with all roads closed before me?
       
      Fate has been kind
      to me thus far.
       
      I might never have been given
      the memory of happy moments
       
      My yen for comparison
      might have been taken away.
       
      I might have been myself minus amazement,
      that is,
      someone completely different.
       
      ~ Wislawa Szymborska ~
       
      (Poems New and Collected 1957-1997,
      trans. by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh)
       
       
       
      Web archive of Panhala postings: www.panhala.net/Archive/Index.html
       
      To subscribe to Panhala, send a blank email to Panhala-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
    • wdestiny44@aol.com
      AMONG THE MULTITUDES I am who I am. A coincidence no less unthinkable than any other. I could have different ancestors, after all. I could have fluttered from
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 17, 2012
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        AMONG THE MULTITUDES
         
        I am who I am.
        A coincidence no less unthinkable 
        than any other.
         
        I could have different
        ancestors, after all.
        I could have fluttered
        from another nest
        or crawled bescaled
        from another tree.
         
        Nature's wardrobe
        holds a fair 
        supply of costumes:
        Spider, seagull, field mouse.
        each fits perfectly right off
        and is dutifully worn
        into shreds.
         
        I didn't get a choice either,
        but I can't complain.
        I could have been someone
        much less separate.
        someone from an anthill, shoal, or buzzing swarm,
        an inch of landscape ruffled by the wind.
         
        Someone much less fortunate,
        bred for my fur
        or Christmas dinner,
        something swimming under a square of glass.
         
        A tree rooted to the ground
        as the fire draws near.
         
        A grass blade trampled by a stampede
        of incomprehensible events.
         
        A shady type whose darkness
        dazzled some.
         
        What if I'd prompted only fear,
        Loathing,
        or pity?
         
        If I'd been born
        in the wrong tribe 
        with all roads closed before me?
         
        Fate has been kind 
        to me thus far.
         
        I might never have been given
        the memory of happy moments
         
        My yen for comparison
        might have been taken away.
         
        I might have been myself minus amazement,
        that is,
        someone completely different.
         
        ~ Wislawa Szymborska ~
         
        (Poems New and Collected 1957-1997,
        trans. by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh)
         
        Web archive of Panhala postings: www.panhala.net/Archive/Index.html
         
        To subscribe to Panhala, send a blank email to Panhala-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
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