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This poem is taken from PN Review 24, Volume 8 Number 4, March - April 1982.

Two Poems (translated by Michael March and Jaroslaw Anders) Zbigniew Herbert

MR COGITO - THE RETURN

1.
Mr Cogito
decided to return
to the stone womb
of his country

the decision is a dramatic one
he would bitterly reproach himself

yet, he can no longer bear
the colloquial expressions
-comment allez-vous
-wie geht's
-how are you

these apparently simple questions
demand a complex answer

Mr Cogito tears off
the bandages of kind indifference

he stopped believing in progress
he is absorbed in his own wound
...


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