Adam Zagajewski | In the Beauty Created By Others

Adam Zagajewski | In the Beauty Created By Others June 15, 2013

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Zagajewski, Rosman, Hirsch (May 2005)

Early in the morning I’m grading papers at the Crossroads mall in Bellevue. It’s delightful to watch the light filter in and settle upon the heads of people standing in line at the food court. It reminds me of the lines,  The others are not hell, / if you see them early, with their / foreheads pure, cleansed by dreams.” The brackets below are all mine and suggest possible influences and/or interesting connections to Zagajewski’s poem.

“In the Beauty Created By Others”

from Without End: New and Selected Poems

Only in the beauty created

by others is there consolation, [Schopenhauer]

in the music of others and in others’ poems.

Only others save us, [von Balthasar]

even though solitude tastes like

opium [Marx]. The others are not hell, [Sartre]

if you see them early, with their

foreheads pure, cleansed by dreams [not Freud].

That is why I wonder what

word should be used, “he” or “you.” Every “he”

is a betrayal of a certain “you” but

in return someone else’s poem

offers the fidelity of a sober dialogue [Buber].*

*That’s a lot to pack into a small space, isn’t it?  That’s what makes poetry so unique.

If this has piqued your interest, don’t miss the compendium of Zagajewski posts at The Book Haven.


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