A Moment with Zbigniew Herbert
I did manage to get the grades for my class in on time. I also received some good writing news. Another of my poems is one of ten finalists in a contest. I can't say much more than that it is a good contest and (for me) a very different poem. The immediate benefit is--again--some assurance that I am on the right path with this new manuscript.
Here's a prose poem from The Selected Poems of Zbigniew Herbert (Ecco Press, 1968). This translation is by Czeslaw Milosz. The Collected Poems of Zbigniew Herbert is readily available (Ecco Press, 2007); I simply haven't gotten to it yet. I've had to console myself with this smaller (but still excellent) paperback.
First there was a god of night and tempest, a black idol without eyes, before whom they leaped, naked and smeared with blood. Later on, in the times of the republic, there were many gods with wives, children, creaking beds, and harmlessly exploding thunderbolts. At the end, only superstitious neurotics carried in their pockets little statues of salt, representing the god of irony. There was no greater god at that time.
Then came the barbarians. They too valued highly the little god of irony. They would crush it under their heels and add it to their dishes.