Saturday, January 9, 2010

Out of Sorts

I have been in such a funk the past few days and just feel out of sorts in general. Its not necessarily a bad thing, and only happens once in a while. Lately when I get this feeling, I'll often read the prose poetry of Zbigniew Herbert. I was in a book store six or seven months ago and happened to randomly pick up his collected poems when browsing the shelves. I'm not sure how to describe them, except to say that they tend to come at themes like love, liberty and romanticism from a different angle and present imagery that somehow feels raw and ambiguous to me, as well as sometimes being whimsical--most definitely off-beat. I'm not going to fumble around with more descriptions, but instead leave you with some examples that particularly struck me tonight...and made my sorts feel less out of place.



"Who ever thought a warm neck would become an armrest, or legs eager for flight and joy could stiffen into four simple stilts? Armchairs were once noble flower-eating creatures. However, they allowed themselves too easily to be domesticated and today they are the most wretched species of quadrupeds. They have lost all their stubbornness and courage. They are only meek. They haven't trampled anyone or galloped off with anyone. They are, for certain, conscious of a wasted life.

The despair of armchairs is revealed in their creaking."


"It's a boardinghouse for plants, run very strictly like a convent school. Grasses, trees, and flowers grow decently without any vegetational extravagance, shunning forbidden intimacies with bumblebees. They are continually embarrassed by their own Latin dignity and by the fact that they have to serve as examples. Even roses keep their lips sealed. They dream of the herbarium.

Elderly folks come here with books and doze off under the sluggish ticking of sundials."

-Quoted from Zbigniew Herbert, The Collected Poems 1956-1998 (2007), p. 217 and 143


  1. Oh hope you feel in tune real soon. I love how you said "made my sorts feel less out of place" so sweet.

    I love these excerps, particularly the second, I can so see that.

  2. Oh, I adore "Armchairs"! Thanks for sharing that and hope you're feeling less out of sorts soon! xoxo

  3. Feel better. These excerpts are gorgeous, I love his thoughts on the botanical garden

  4. So sorry you've been feeling off lately! I've been a crankier version of myself lately too.

    Thank you for sharing those thought-provoking poems!

  5. When I was reading this post, I was thinking about how I don't really like poetry. But this is very fun. I like it!

  6. you're welcome :) thank you very much for yours^^

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