Zbigniew Herbert

Here you will find the Poem An Answer of poet Zbigniew Herbert

An Answer

This will be a night in deep snow 
which has the power to muffle steps 
in deep shadow transforming 
bodies to two puddles of darkness 
we lie holding our breath 
and even the slightest whisper of thought 

if we are not tracked down by wolves 
and the man in a Russian sheepskin who swings 
quick-firing death on his chest 
we must spring and run 
in the clapping of short dry salvos 
to that other longed-for shore 

the earth is the same everywhere 
wisdom teaches everywhere the man 
weeps with white tears 
mothers rock their children 
the moon rises 
and builds a white house for us 

this will be night after hard reality 
a conspiracy of the imagination 
it has a taste of bread and lightness of vodka 
but the choice to remain here 
is confirmed by every dream about palm trees 

the dream is interrupted suddenly by the arrival of three 
tall men of rubber and iron 
they will check your name your fear 
order you to go downstairs 
they won?t allow you to take anything 
but the compassionate face of the janitor 

Hellenic Roman Medieval 
East Indian Elizabethan Italian 
perhaps above all French 
a bit of Weimar and Versailles 
we carry so many homelands 
on the shoulders of a single earth 

but the only one guarded 
by the most singular number 
is here where they will trample you into the ground 
or with boldly ringing spade 
make a large pit for your longing