Jan Twardowski: Let Us Hurry
Jan Jakub Twardowski (June 1, 1915 – January 18, 2006) was a famous Polish poet, but, as he said of himself, he was a priest first of all. He was a chief Polish representative of contemporary religious lyrics. He wrote short, simple poems, humorous, sometimes with colloquialisms. He joins observation of nature with philosophical reflexion.
Jan Twardowski was born on June 1, 1915 in Warsaw, Congress Poland, Russian Empire as a son of Jan Twardowski and Aniela Maria Konderska. Several weeks later his family was forced to move to Russia.. After 3 years the family moved back to Warsaw. In 1927, after finishing a primary school, he started his education in mathematical and environmental gymnasium. He finished it in 1935.
In 1932 he began working with the gymnasium youth newspaper called Kuźnia Młodych. He had his own column there, he wrote poems, short stories, interviews with writers, etc.
After the gymnasium he began studying literature at the Józef Piłsudski University (University of Warsaw). In 1937 he published his first poem book.
After the war he joined a seminary and began studying theology at the Warsaw University. He became a priest in 1948. In 1959 he became a provost in the church of Siostry Wizytki. He was published in popular Polish magazine, Tygodnik Powszechny. He gained fame in 1960 after publication of his first book of poetry, Znak ufności. In 1980 he received the PEN Club Robert Graves award for life's work, in 1996 Order Uśmiechu (Order of Smile), in 2000 IKAR prize, and in 2001 the TOTUS prize (known as the 'Catholic Nobel').
Source: Wikipedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Twardowski
Let us hurry
Let us hurry to love people they depart so quickly
Leaving only their shoes and silence on the phone
Only what is unimportant tends to drag like a cow
The most important is so fast that happens in split-second
Silence that follows - normal and unbearable
Is like a clarity born straight from despair
When we think about someone who is no longer with us
Please do not be so certain that there is still time left
For certainty happens to be most uncertain
It takes away our sensitivity along with happiness
And comes concurrently like pathos and humour
Just like two different passions yet not as strong as one
Tend to die down so quickly, like thrush song in July
Like a sound somewhat clumsy or a vacuous bow
They have to close their eyes in order to truly see
And even though to be born is a greater risk than to die
We love still to little and always to late
Do not write about it too often but write once and for all
And you will become like a dolphin both gentle and strong
Let us hurry to love people, they depart so quickly
And those who are not, will not always return
And you never know while speaking of love
Is the first one last, or the last one first.
Translated by Pawel Maciejewski
Kneels at night and tries to find God
with eyes of fear, wear and tear-
the distant someone, from whom he'd been parted,
errant and crying, somewhere.
The smell throngs like blooming jasmine
in the golden wheat field of a dream-
who woke who you are, where you swim
through the nights and days unending.
No one says if you are right or wrong,
no one says you are not gorgeous,
only the land of the ancient tombs
hears and knows about your silence.