A Portrait Of A Woman

Today is March 8th and International Women’s Day. I would like to wish all women happiness and prosperity. I am sharing my favourite poem by Wislawa Szymborska. Although, there are few variations of poem’s translation, this one is my favourite. It is full of contradictions, because it’s impossible to paint woman in one colour, or define who she is. She can be everything and anything. She can be single, married or widowed. She may have many children, only one or none. She may be young and of course always young. She can be weak, but the strongest, naive, yet the wisest. She may not know everything, but she will solve any puzzle. She can be sensitive, but also tough if she needs to be. I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I did.

Portrait Of A Woman

Wislawa Szymborska – 1976

She must be willing to please.
To change so that nothing should change.
It’s easy, impossible, hard, worth trying.
Her eyes are if need be now deep blue, now gray,
dark, playful, filled for no reason with tears.
She sleeps with him like some chance acquaintance, like his one and only.
She will bear him four children, no children, one.
Naive yet giving the best advice.
Weak yet lifting the weightiest burden.
Has no head on her shoulders but will have.
Reads Jaspers and ladies’ magazines.
Doesn’t know what this screw is for and will build a bridge.
Young, as usual young, as always still young.
Holds in her hands a sparrow with a broken wing,
her own money for a journey long and distant,
a meat-cleaver, poultice, and a shot of vodka.
Where is she running so, isn’t she tired?
Not at all, just a bit, very much, doesn’t matter.
Either she loves him or has made up her mind to.
For better, for worse, and for heaven’s sake.

Published by Marianna Maliszewska

“I cannot live without love. Love is at the root of my being.”― Anaïs Nin.

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