One of my absolute favourite poets.

And thus, in the aftermath of watching Night Will Fall, I looked to Szymborska for a redemption of sorts, a rekindling of my faith in humanity and in life.

This is what I found.


The Ball


As long as nothing can be known for sure

(no signals have been picked up yet),


as long as Earth is still unlike

the nearer and more distant planets,


as long as there’s neither hide nor hair

of other grasses graced by other winds,

of other treetops bearing other crowns,

other animals as well-grounded as our own,


as long as only the local echo

has been known to speak in syllables,


as long as we still haven’t heard word

of better or worse mozarts,

platos, edisons somewhere,


as long as our inhuman crimes

are still committed only between humans,


as long as our kindness

is still comparable,

peerless even in its imperfection,


as long as our heads packed with illusions

still pass for the only heads so packed,


as long as the roofs of our mouths alone

still raise voices to high heaven –


let’s act like very special guests of honor

at the district-firemen’s ball,

dance to the beat of the local oompah band

and pretend that it’s the ball

to end all balls.


I can’t speak for others –

for me this is

misery and happiness enough.


just this sleepy backwater

where even the stars have time to burn

while winking at us