Zbigniew Herbert

Here you will find the Poem The Rain of poet Zbigniew Herbert

The Rain

When my older brother 
came back from war 
he had on his forehead a little silver star 
and under the star 
an abyss 

a splinter of shrapnel 
hit him at Verdun 
or perhaps at Grünwald 
(he?d forgotten the details) 

he used to talk much 
in many languages 
but he liked most of all 
the language of history 

until losing breath 
he commanded his dead pals to run 
Roland Kowaski Hannibal 

he shouted 
that this was the last crusade 
that Carthage soon would fall 
and then sobbing confessed 
that Napoleon did not like him 

we looked at him 
getting paler and paler 
abandoned by his senses 
he turned slowly into a monument 

into musical shells of ears 
entered a stone forest 
and the skin of his face 
was secured 
with the blind dry 
buttons of eyes 

nothing was left him 
but touch 

what stories 
he told with his hands 
in the right he had romances 
in the left soldier?s memories 

they took my brother 
and carried him out of town 
he returns every fall 
slim and very quiet 
he does not want to come in 
he knocks at the window for me 

we walk together in the streets 
and he recites to me 
improbable tales 
touching my face 
with blind fingers of rain