Keeping company is a fair reward

No story of companionship can have a clear
beginning and is finished by mere declaration

Much has preceded the point of no denying
and much has yet to follow even if
the old roles will be acted by new players  

Rescued from winter’s dangers outside
brought home, looked after and observed
with care, the morning glory is the first 
to start before this years’ seeds dare to bloom    

Who helped let grow allowed it or just suffered
some company will be getting rewarded
with the free presence of incarnate good

With dignity accept this burden-gift
admire ugly ducklings not-turned-swans
their courage of premature exploration
outdone painfully by the younger brother

So don’t abandon your companions after
they lose their edge shed splendor of pink glow
catch the last gasp of sun hang heads go down
leaving their clean-cut brilliant mates sky-high
with their young fresh mouths full life and rain

Dropped they first stand upright, as if just
gone for a nice walk in grass-woods on green pasture
but soon they slither, tilt, tip over, for a while
pretend to jump on grass-tops or to fly
nosediving in the green-thick air under
the leaves or try to slide swim sail dive duck

As if their dancers’ dresses taken off
were still engaged in dance-spell to
revive their more than dead companions while
neglecting their own death giving last dots  
of color to pale bodies of the mates

As if they wouldn’t care that their reviving
of one another is a sure though nice
way to eventually die together

Preserving earthly beauty only on one side
the other getting full of holes

Opening tunnels just to see the other
end of the tunnel


1 July 2013, Photos from 23-30 June

© A. Dąbrówka



Informacje o Andrzej Dąbrówka

Tenured professor, Institute of Literary Research (Polish Academy of Sciences), Warsaw.
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8 odpowiedzi na „Keeping company is a fair reward

  1. I announced this post in the discussion on the Philosophy of Composition

    You won’t believe me, but I first read “The Raven” in Russian (Voron) in my high-school time. I learnt it by hart, but now I remember only the first line:

    Ah, ya vspominayu yasno, Byl togda dekabr nenastnyj

    I bought a Russian anthpology of English poetry. At high school I was studying Russian and German as foreign languages. Then came the Polish translation I found in a literary weekly “Kultura”:

    Ach, wszak pamięć mnie nie łudzi, to był ciemny dziki grudzień
    I płonących głowni rudzień budził syczeń duszny chór

    – so far I remember. I was preplexed as everyone here by the enchanting beauty of the poem.

    Poe is making up a story of the composition process described
    in handbooks of rhetoric. His enarrating the essential poetical rules is not his invention, but elaboration of more than two thousand years practice.
    To give a speech or make a poem you have to choose its topic and according to it “invent” which means find out the motifs that have to be processed in this work.
    If your topic is “loss of the beloved”, you have to make some choices about the speaker, the lost person, the sort and closeness of their relation, its time, space, circumstances of the loss. Was the speaker guilty? Were they ever happy?
    This is the phase of inventio.

    Then comes the divisio: you have to decide how are you going to form the story: as a lyrical contemplation (not bound to a time or place), as narrative ballad, a short story, a novel, a drama, and so on.

    And if you have decided for the ballad (lonely mourner, sleepless night, december, fireplace, late visitor…) you go to the elocutio – giving the work all you can give to make it a masterpiece.
    The language form is most important, and you are happy when you have a good example, as here in the trochaeic rhythm (XxXxXxXx + XxXxXxXx) and the rhyme scheme of the Corpus Christi sequence
    Lauda Sion salvatorem

    „Fracto demum sacramento, ne vacilles, sed memento,
    tantum esse sub fragmento, quantum toto tegitur.

    Nulla rei fit scissura: signi tantum fit fractura:
    qua nec status nec statura signati minuitur”


    We all do apply this rhetoric procedure of inventio – divisio – elocutio even if unknowingly of the rules, because the rules only register the logic of creative thinking and inventing process.

    If I read the topic of the coming week’s photo challenge, I come up first with an observation
    “Keeping company is a reward”
    I will be working on it to make my next photo-poem, because this is my job here. I will be looking in my collection for matches of the phenomenon “companion”, and – what happens tomorrow, only the Muses know, if they care.

  2. Foxglove and morning glory – they have a lot to tell us when we sit and listen to them…

  3. maszynagocha pisze:

    Świetna seria zdjęć. Najpiękniejsze to z promieniem słońca, przebijającym się przez gęstwinę. 🙂

  4. tichy pisze:

    „Opening tunnels just to see the other
    end of the tunnel”
    Otwierając tunele jedynie by ujrzeć drugi koniec Tunelu? (bo czym jest „the tunnel”?)

    • Ktoś na WordPressie pokazał zdjęcie naparstka naparstnicy nazywając widok wnętrza tunelem.
      Tych tuneli się napatrzymy oglądając spadłe naparstki, które otwierają się na przejrzenie ich wskroś, odrywając się na węższym końcu i otwierają ten tunel przedtem zamknięty; na niektórych zdjęciach widać ten drugi otwór tunelu i za nim zieloną łąkę na przykład.
      Przepraszam za zwłokę, jestem w Bieszczadach i dziś zajrzałem tylko gościnnie do poczty, żeby wysłać pilną pracę na konferencję. Wracam 15 lipca i wtedy dopiszę jeśli będzie trzeba. Witam w mojej pustelni.


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