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“Przekrój” Magazine brings English-speaking readers some of the best journalism from across Central and Eastern Europe, in the fields of wellbeing, art, literature, science, ecology, philosophy, psychology, and more. Take a break from the speed and intensity of the daily news and join us!

Przekrój
“The blind view sculptures with their fingers.” A poem by a contemporary Polish poet.
2020-11-18 09:00:00
Poematic
Sculptures for the Blind

In the museum where vision rules,
there are sculptures for the blind—
the same ones the sighted
can’t approach too close:
let a foot creep past the red line,
or poke your nose in the hollow
of some ancient nose—alarms wail.
Only looking is allowed till you feel yourself turn
into those stone eyeballs on long stems
dug out of a marble head from Greece.
The blind view sculptures with their fingers.
They trace a scar on the belly
of a Cycladic girl, the battle
of dragons on the backside
of a Korean mirror.
What arose thousands of years ago
they create anew, saying: pitcher, cup,
which they fill again with wine.
In their hands, strings of money-beads,
freed from the display, rattle gains and losses,
shady deals gone down.
A bronze knocker lends them its weight,
conjures up a door.

Try to open it in the dark.

 

Translated from the Polish by Karen Kovacik

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Published:

Krystyna Dąbrowska

was born in 1979. She is a poet, translator and essayist. She graduated from Graphic Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. She has published four books of poetry. The most recent one is “Ścieżki dźwiękowe” [Soundtracks]. She has received the Kościelski Award (2013), the Wisława Szymborska Award (2013) and the Literary Award of the Capital City of Warsaw (2019). She lives and works in Warsaw.