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.
Pebble – Zbigniew Herbert
is a perfect creature
equal to itself
mindful of its limits
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