The Moment by Wisława Szymborska
I walk on the slope of a hill gone green.
Grass, little flowers in the grass,
as in a children’s illustration.
The misty sky’s already turning blue.
A view of other hills unfolds in silence.
As if there’d never been any Cambrians, Silurians,
rocks snarling at crags,
no nights in flames
and days in clouds of darkness.
As if plains hadn’t pushed their way here
in malignant fevers,
As if seas had seethed only elsewhere,
shredding the shores of the horizons.
It’s nine-thirty local time.
Everything’s in its place and in polite agreement.
In the valley a little brook cast as a little brook.
A path in the role of a path from always to ever.
Woods disguised as woods alive without end,
and above them birds in flight play birds in flight.
This moment reigns as far as the eye can reach.
One of those earthly moments
invited to linger.
Note: Translated from the Polish by Stanisław Barańczak and Clare Cavanagh.