Poem of the Day: Miracle Fair

Wislawa Szymborska

Bookseller Dublina Moulik recommends today’s poem for our continued celebration of National Poetry Month, Miracle Fair by Krakow-based poet Wislawa Szymborska. If you enjoy this one, take a look at Szymborska’s collections Monologue of a Dog; Here; and her Poems: New and Collected.


Miracle Fair

Commonplace miracle:
that so many commonplace miracles happen.

An ordinary miracle:
in the dead of night
the barking of invisible dogs.

One miracle out of many:
a small, airy cloud
yet it can block a large and heavy moon.

Several miracles in one:
an alder tree reflected in the water,
and that it’s backwards left to right
and that it grows there, crown down
and never reaches the bottom,
even though the water is shallow.

An everyday miracle:
winds weak to moderate
turning gusty in storms.

First among equal miracles:
cows are cows.

Second to none:
just this orchard
from just that seed.

A miracle without a cape and top hat:
scattering white doves.

A miracle, for what else could you call it:
today the sun rose at three-fourteen
and will set at eight-o-one.

A miracle, less surprising than it should be:
even though the hand has fewer than six fingers,
it still has more than four.

A miracle, just take a look around:
the world is everywhere.

An additional miracle, as everything is additional:
the unthinkable
is thinkable.

~ by Wislawa Szymborska
translated by Joanna Trzeciak

From www.poets.org:

“Wislawa Szymborska was born in 1923 in Bnin, a small town in Western Poland. Her family moved to Krakow in 1931 where she has lived and worked ever since. Szymborska is the author of more than fifteen books of poetry. Her collections available in English include Monologue of a Dog (Harcourt, 2005), Miracle Fair: Selected Poems of Wislawa Szymborska (Norton, 2001), Poems, New and Collected, 1957-1997 (Harcourt, 1998), View with a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems(Harcourt, 1995), People on a Bridge (Forest, 1990) and Sounds, Feelings Thoughts: Seventy Poems (Princeton UP, 1981). She is also the author of Nonrequired Reading (Harcourt, 2002), a collection of prose pieces.”

2 thoughts on “Poem of the Day: Miracle Fair

  1. This is the title poem of the collection “Miracle Fair: Selected Poems of Wisława Szymborska” (WW Norton). One feature of this collection that I like is that the poems are presented in thematic clusters, each one introduced by one of Szymborska’s arresting collages.

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