Saturday, March 05, 2011

A Word on Statistics: A poem by Wislawa Szymborska

Out of every hundred people,
those who always know better:
Unsure of every step:
almost all the rest.
Ready to help,
if it doesn’t take long:
Always good,
because they cannot be otherwise:
four — well, maybe five.
Able to admire without envy:
Led to error
by youth (which passes):
sixty, plus or minus.
Those not to be messed with:
Living in constant fear
of someone or something:
Capable of happiness:
twenty-some-odd at most.
Harmless alone,
turning savage in crowds:
more than half, for sure.
when forced by circumstances:
it’s better not to know,
not even approximately.
Wise in hindsight:
not many more
than wise in foresight.
Getting nothing out of life except things:
(though I would like to be wrong).
Balled up in pain
and without a flashlight in the dark:
eighty-three, sooner or later.

(translated from the Polish by Joanna Trzeciak) More Here

1 comment:

V K Abdul Malik said...

I could not understand the essence of this poetry. But the photo of the poetess conveys a lot. The grace, patience displayed in the face is wonderful. There is also a slight trace of wickedness too which I am afraid nobody would have succeeded to notice.


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