On Troy

O Troy Troy
an archeologist
will stir your ash with his hand
and a fire greater than the Iliad
on seven strings -

two few strings
we need a chorus
a sea of laments
mountains' clamor
a rain of stones

-how to lead out
people from the ruins
how to lead out
a chorus from a poem

thinks a poet perfect
as a pillar of salt
eminently mute
-Song escapes whole
It escaped whole
on a wing of fire
into the pure sky

Over the ruins the moon rises
O Troy Troy
The city is silent

The poet grapples with his own shadow
The poet cries like a bird in a wilderness

The moon repeats its landscape
smooth metal smouldering ash

They went down gorges of former streets
as if across a red sea of charred wreckage

and the wind blew up the red dust
faithfully painting the city as it set

They went down gorges of former streets
hungrily breathing into the frozen dawn

and they said: long years will pass
before the first house stands here

they went down gorges of former streets
they thought they would find some trace

on a harmonica
a cripple plays a tune
about willows' braids
about a girl

the poet says nothing
rain is coming down

Zbigniew Herbert
The Collected Poems 1956 - 1998
Ecco, 2007
Tradução inglesa de Alissa Valles

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