Zbigniew Herbert

Here you will find the Poem How We Were Introduced of poet Zbigniew Herbert

How We Were Introduced

?for perfidious protectors

I was playing in the street 
no one paid attention to me 
as I made forms out of sand 
mumbling Rimbaud under my breath 

once an elderly gentleman overheard it 
?little boy you are a poet 
just now we are organizing 
a grass-roots literary movement 

he stroked my dirty head 
gave me a large lollypop 
and even bought clothes 
in the protective coloring of youth 

I didn?t have such a splendid suit 
since first communion 
short trousers and a wide 
sailor?s collar 

black patent leather shoes with a buckle 
white knee-high socks 
the elderly gentleman took me by the hand 
and led the way to the ball 

other boys were there 
also in short trousers 
carefully shaven 
shuffling their feet 

?well boys now it?s time to play 
why are you standing in the corners 
asked the elderly gentleman 
?make a circle holding hands 

but we didn?t want tag 
or blindman?s buff 
we had enough of the elderly gentleman 
we were very hungry 

so we were seated promptly 
around a large table 
given lemonade 
and pieces of cake 

now disguised as adults 
with deep voices 
the boys got up they praised us 
or slapped us on our hands 

we didn?t hear anything 
didn?t feel anything 
staring with great eyes 
at the piece of cake 
that kept melting 
in our hot hands 
and this sweet taste the first in our lives 
disappeared inside our dark sleeves