April 26th is Poem In Your Pocket Day here in the US. I've always liked the idea of it, of people carrying around a few cherished, crumpled lines maybe to share but truthfully just because they're needed. To borrow a phrase from someone we'll be hearing more from in a minute, I really am this foolish.
I've been saving this one especially for today, from this.
The Great Poet Has Gone by Adam Zagajewski
Thinking of C.M.
Of course nothing changes
in the ordinary light of day,
when the great poet has gone.
Gray sparrows and dapper starlings
still squabble heatedly
in the tops of ancient elms.
When the great poet has gone,
the city doesn't miss a beat, the metro
and the trams still seek a modern Grail.
In the library a lovely girl
looks in vain for a poem that could explain it all.
At noon the same noise surges,
while quiet concentration reigns at night,
among the stars- eternal agitation.
Soon the discotheques will open,
indifference will open-
although the great poet has died.
When we part for a long while
or forever from someone we love,
we suddenly sense there are no words,
we must speak for ourselves now,
there's no one to do it for us
- since the great poet is gone.
(translated by Clare Cavanagh)
I've got a great song for you too- it's written by Mark Spence, author of the first poem in the collage above, and performed by him and his band Royal Chant.
Royal Chant - Hesitation Kills