Tribute to Wislawa Szymborska

Tatlong Kakaibang Salita
(Three Oddest Words by Wislawa Szymborska, translated by Jocel de Guzman)

Sa tuwing bibigkasin ko ang salitang kinabukasan,
bahagi na kaagad ang mga unang kataga nito ng kahapon.
Sa tuwing bibigkasin ko ang salitang katahimikan,
pinapatay ko kaagad ang kanyang diwa.
Sa tuwing bibigkasin ko ang salitang kawalan,
nakakabuo ako ng isang kamalayan na di kayang hagkan ninuman

The Three Oddest Words

When I pronounce the word Future,
the first syllable already belongs to the past.
When I pronounce the word Silence,
I destroy it.
When I pronounce the word Nothing,
I make something no non-being can hold.


Recycled Poetry: Old man & a cradle

There, in a darkened little room

An old man racks an empty wooden cradle while

Humming an out of tune lullaby

To calm his crying soul

His memory is slowly fading

Like the orange sunset every afternoon

He can only remember the

Sad thoughts of an absurd existence

And the illusion of a meaningful life.

He weeps as he struggles to recollect

In his dying days

The only happy moments he once had

When he was still being comforted

By the warmth of that old cradle

– Jocel de Guzman

April 12, 2002

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