Before a Journey


Before a Journey


They call it: space.

It’s easy to define with that one word,

much harder with many.


Empty and full of everything at once?

Shut tight in spite of being open,

since nothing

can escape from it?

Inflated beyond all limits?

And if it has a limit,

what the devil does it border on?


Well, all fine and good. But go to sleep now.

It’s night, tomorrow you’ve got more pressing matters

made to measure for you:

touching objects close at hand,

casting glances at the intended distance.

Listening to voices within earshot.


Then that journey from point A to point B.

Departure at 12:40 local time,

and flight above the puffs of local clouds

through whichever infinitely

fleeting strip of sky.


~ Wisława Szymborska

translated from the Polish

by Claire Cavanagh & Stanislaw Barańczak


One thought on “Before a Journey

  1. Even tho this poem, imo, is not really about space but about letting one’s mind wander past the practical, regarding space, which is so interesting to contemplate, I really wonder why that singularity called the Big Bang could not have been the end result of a previous cycle which ended w all matter condensing into the mother of all black holes. Is it because of humans’ need to worship an almost comprehensible size God?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s