PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
PNR266 Now Available
The latest issue of PN Review is now available to read online. read more
Most Read... Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
M. Wynn ThomasThe Other Side of the Hedge
(PN Review 239)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing ‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing
(PN Review 236)
Next Issue Stav Poleg Running Between Languages Jeffrey Meyers on Mr W.H. (Auden) Miles Burrows The Critic as Cleaning Lady Timothy Ades translates Brecht, Karen Leeder translates Ulrike Almut Sandig
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This poem is taken from PN Review 26, Volume 8 Number 6, July - August 1982.

Six Poems Zbigniew Herbert

ALTAR

First came the elements: water carrying silt
earth with moist eyes greedy and quick fire
then came the gentle dragons of the air shaking their manes
in this way they opened the procession for flowers and small
  plants
the chisel of the artist of Greenness praises grass
inhuman flame like fire thrown from ships
grass that comes when history is fulfilled
and is the chapter of silence

the tramp of sacrificial animals says goodbye
they go carnal and bright carrying warmth on their necks
and ignorance of the fates marked on the forehead with horns
they fall on their foreknees very surprised at their own blood
The elements the animals shout to you the road is open
the sky steps aside for you and God speaks with thunder
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image