Wisława Szymborska


Defying knowledge and the teachings of geologists,
mocking their magnets, graphs and maps—
a dream in a split second
piles up before us mountains stone solid
as if in real life.

And if the mountains, then also valleys and planes
with full infrastructure.
Without engineers, foremen, workers,
without excavators, bulldozers, material supplies—
abrupt highways, sudden bridges,
instant cities populated through.

Without directors with a megaphone, and operators—
crowds knowing well when to frighten us
and at which moment to disappear.

Without architects skilled in their trade,
without carpenters, bricklayers, the concrete crew—
on the path suddenly a little house like a toy
and in it giant rooms with the echo of our footsteps
and walls constructed of solid air.

Not only the scope but also precision—
a specific wristwatch, a complete fly,
on the table a cloth embroidered with flowers,
an apple with a piece bitten off, a trace of teeth.

And we—what circus magicians can’t do,
nor conjurers, wonder-workers, hypnotists—
featherless we can fly,
in black tunnels we light our way with our eyes,
we talk with ease in a foreign tongue
and not with just someone but with the dead.

And in addition, defying our own freedom,
defying decisions of our hearts and our taste,
we lose ourselves
in amorous lust for—
before the alarm clock rings.

And as for comments from authors of dream books,
scholars of oneiric symbols and signs,
doctors with couches for psychoanalysis—
if something goes right for them,
it is only by chance
and only for this reason,
that  in our dreamings,
in their darkenings and brightenings,
in their flabbergastings , unforseeings,
their haphazardings and widenings
sometimes even clear sense
can be found.