Saturday 10 November 2007

Goats and Bicycles

When I posted my doggerel about tygers and cheesecake, it contained a reference to bicycles that would seem cryptic were it read by someone who had not read:-

The Bicycle
- by Jerzy Harasymowicz

forgotten by tourists
a bicycle joined
a herd
of mountain goats

with its splendidly turned
silver horns
it became
their leader

with its bell
it warned them
of danger

with them
it partook
in romps
on the snow covered

the bicycle
gazed from above
on people walking;
with the goats

it fought
over a goat,
with a bearded buck

it reared up at eagles
on its back wheel

it was happy
though it never
nibbled at grass

or drank
from a stream

until once
a poacher
shot it

by the silver trophy
of its horns

and then
above the Tatras was seen
against the sparkling
January sky

the angel of death erect
riding to heaven
holding the bicycle's
dead horns.

(trans. from Polish by Edmund Ordon)

This poem I found on Red Dirt Girl's now defunct poetry blog, and her own response to it follows.

"Today I was posting a poem that wasn’t my own.
About a bicycle, goats and two silver horns.
I sat at the table and started to type.
I realized: I’m wrong!
This poem has some bite!
So I tasted and chewed.
I digested and fed.
I savored and swallowed.
The juices ran red.
Now, his words, they are mine.
They float and they slumber.
They run thru my veins.
They’ve invaded my thoughts.
They live in my brain.
The bicycle image, goats, angel and snow,
I see in my dreams.
Film moving slow.
So this is my poem:
A tribute of sorts,
an ode to a bicycle
and some odd mountain goats."
08/2006 Red Dirt Girl.