Skip to content
Give readers a window on the world. Click to donate.
from the September 2011 issue

Adjectival Poem

Amazing spring, warm, humid
and full of backlit trees
in various colors, even if it’s still unclear
which ones, except for the rhododendron, which one way or another
stays in shape, though it’s just a bush,
and the unfurling leaves of the maple.
And the greenery in the flowerbeds, which is green
even at night. “Also in the dark?”
Also in the dark. Amazing,
silly, and even in such dark moments lucid
days, because for starters, days, and nights,
because of nights. Not at all, I’ve had nowhere near enough.
Though of course at home the lilac’s roots
slowly snake their way toward your head,
and the lilacs already begin to bloom and fall
on account of the sun, also at the head.
The humidity dries or seeps in, and the sun
shines now on the lids of garbage cans
and snouts of wells, but clearly only by day.
It’s foolish to talk and talk without stopping,
without, at bottom, having anything to say,
at most only on the surface, to see.
It’s silly to talk your ear off
(amazing, that this came into your head).

Translation of "Wiersz przymiotnikowy." Copyright Piotr Sommer. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2011 by W. Martin and Christian Hawkey. All rights reserved.

Read more from the September 2011 issue
Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.