Zbigniew Herbert

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Zbigniew Herbert (29 October 192428 July 1998) was a Polish poet, playwright and essayist.


  • And if the City falls and one survives
    he shall carry the City within on the roads of exile
    he shall be the City
    • Report from the Besieged City.
  • Jeśli tematem sztuki
    będzie dzbanek rozbity
    mała rozbita dusza
    z wielkim żalem nad sobą

    to co po nas zostanie
    będzie jak płacz kochanków
    w małym brudnym hotelu
    kiedy świtają tapety
    • if the subject of art
      will be a broken jug
      a small broken soul
      with a great self-pity

      what will remain of us
      will be like tears of lovers
      in a small dirty hotel
      when wallpapers dawn
    • Why the Classics.
  • Go where the others have gone, to the tenebrous limit
    for the golden fleece of void, your ultimate prize
    go upright among those who are on their knees
    among those turning their backs on and those fallen to dust.
    • Message of Mr. Cogito.
  • And do not forgive indeed it is beyond your power
    to forgive in the name of those betrayed at dawn
    • Message of Mr. Cogito.
  • You survived not to live on
    your time is short, you have to give a proof of truth
    • Message of Mr. Cogito.
  • Go for it is the only way to be accepted to the circle of cold skulls
    the circle of your forefathers: Gilgamesh Hector Roland
    defenders of the kingdom of no frontiers and of the city of ashes

    Be faithful Go
    • Message of Mr. Cogito.
  • I turn to history not for lessons but to confront my experience with the experience of others and to win for myself a sense of responsibility for the state of the human conscience.

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