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What is the reason?

by Agnieszka Ryk 

Posted: 22 February 2003
Word Count: 163
Summary: A poem inspired by reading the Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska.

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What is the reason for a tree to grow -
to go to all that effort,
molding branches intricate in detail;
struggling towards the slightest ran of sun,
in tormented twists of twig?

Who summoned forth its urge
to emerge from within the scattered seed -
to rush away from the immeasurable earth
just to spread more seeds
and start again the same
ineffective strain toward the sky?

Who thought to make a spider scuttle,
just to make more spiders scuttle;
or a careful sheep to spend endless grazing days
just to raise more grazing sheep?

Who thought to make a man,
who goes to all the trouble
of writing poems, symphonies and plays;
who builds great towers
and diverts the course of rivers -
not for any greater purpose
than the grazing sheep or the straining tree -
only, in the end
to make more men,
who write poems, symphonies and plays;
who build great towers
and divert the course of rivers.

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Comments by other Members

Anna Reynolds at 18:27 on 22 February 2003  Report this post
wow-- this is really intricate and thoughtful. I love the way the verses meander towards that last section, which is very profound. It's a deceptive poem- in many ways. Please post more- we likey.

Jibunnessa at 19:54 on 14 March 2003  Report this post
I like the quiet contemplative nature of this poem. The lengths of the lines and the rhythms of the words work really well with the cyclical nature of the ideas. Makes me think of Eastern philosophies, and the cyclical notions of time and history. It's something I'm very interested in. So the poem resonates quite deeply. However, I sense futility and struggle. Is there a tinge of pointlessness? Or are you just placing humans within their cosmic context?


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