My Body Effervesces

by Anna Swir

English version by Czeslaw Milosz and Leonard Nathan
Original Language Polish

I am born for the second time.
I am light
as the eyelash of the wind.
I froth, I am froth.

I walk dancing,
if I wish, I will soar.
The condensed lightness
of my body
condenses most forcibly
in the lightness of my foot
and its five toes.
The foot skims the earth
which gives way like compressed air.
An elastic duo
of the earth and of the foot. A dance
of liberation.

I am born for the second time,
happiness of the world
came to me again.
My body effervesces,
I think with my body which effervesces.

If I wish,
I will soar.

-- from Soul Food: Nourishing Poems for Starved Minds, Edited by Neil Astley / Edited by Pamela Robertson-Pearce

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/ Photo by Joy Krauthammer /


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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

I only recently discovered the poetry of Polish poet Anna Swir. (Her full name is actually Anna Swirszczynska, but I guess it has been shortened by translators for syllabically limited English speakers.)

This poem, in particular, really grabbed my attention.

I am born for the second time.
I am light
as the eyelash of the wind.
I froth, I am froth.


Just those opening lines alone bring a giddy sort of self-recognition and slows our pace to an easy saunter.

And then the following lines--

I walk dancing,
if I wish, I will soar.


Reading those lines, we too begin to move more lightly, playfully. And we start to rise...

An elastic duo
of the earth and of the foot. A dance
of liberation.


...That meeting of earth and foot, a place to stand, to gently push against, and to move upon.

I am born for the second time,
happiness of the world
came to me again.


Okay, I can't hold back: one quick metaphysical tangent-- Religious traditions all over the world, not just Christianity, make references being being born again, a second birth, a spiritual birth, a renewed self. Yet what they fail to mention is that this second birth is not the result of affirming some doctrine; it comes through deep inner opening... and it is accompanied by the most profound giddy bliss! It's as if there is some great secret delight underlying all of creation, and in that moment of rebirth, the happiness of the world washes over you.

My body effervesces,
I think with my body which effervesces.


From the intellect's point-of-view, that pervasive joy doesn't quite make sense. All you have to do is read the day's news to know how much suffering and trauma exist in the world. Yet there is also this effervescent joy. And it's not just an idea of joy; it is felt, by every cell of your body. Your body just bubbles with an uncontainable bliss.

Sometimes the situation requires thinking with the intellect in order to engage with the challenges and struggles that churn on the surface of life. But it is just as important is discovering our inherent effervescence, and learn to "think" with that body so we can engage with the world through that deep joy. The intellect can argue that that's nice, but it is ineffective at solving problems. But try that effervescence. It "knows" something even more powerful: that joy and love are highly contagious. And that's the most effective work.

So, next time you feel your feet rising, don't fight it...

If I wish,
I will soar.


--


Fierce Eye, Gentle Heart - Card Sales!

Wow! The interest in the Fierce Eye, Gentle Heart Card Set has been fantastic! In less than 2 days we've already sold out of our initial printing!

But don't worry -- if you have placed an order or want to place an order, I am working with the printer to have more cards ready as soon as possible. They should be available in one to two weeks. Since this card set is a new item, I didn't anticipate how hugely popular it would be, and so I ordered too few cards initially. But more are coming soon!

If you are interested in receiving a set of these cards in December, place your order soon, and I will do everything I can to get them to you on time.

International Shipment

Several of you have asked about shipping outside the US. As of yesterday, the PayPal order form has been updated to with international shipping prices. So please feel free to order from the UK, Australia, India, Pakistan... I can't absolutely guarantee that international deliveries will arrive before the end of the year, but I'll do my best to make it possible.

Non-PayPal Orders

I have received a few questions from people who would like to order but prefer not to use PayPal. You can always send a check or money order (in USD, please) to:

Poetry Chaikhana
PO Box 2320
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USA

If you mail in payment, I will do my best to get shipments out for the earliest possible delivery.

I do not yet have a merchant credit card account set up. That means I do not have the ability to process credit card numbers directly -- sorry.


Thank you, everyone, for your enthusiastic response!



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My Body Effervesces