Three Cheers for the Ants
Four in the Morning
The hour from night to day.
The hour from side to side.
The hour for those past thirty.
The hour swept clean to the crowing of cocks.
The hour when earth betrays us.
The hour when wind blows from extinguished stars.
The hour of and-what-if-nothing-remains-after-us.
The hollow hour.
The very pit of all other hours.
No one feels good at four in the morning.
If ants feel good at four in the morning
–three cheers for the ants. And let five o’clock come
if we’re to go on living.
Translated by Magus J. Krynski and Robert A. Maguire
From Sounds, Feelings, Thoughts: Seventy Poems by Wislawa Szymborska (Princeton UP, 1981)