The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This PagePrint This Page
Pole’s moving tribute

Warsaw, Sept. 11 (Reuters): Poland’s Nobel Prize-winning poet Wislawa Szymborska has written a moving tribute to the victims of the September 11 attacks in the US.

The blank verse by Szymborska, who won the Nobel prize for literature in 1996, was published on the front page of Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza daily newspaper today, the first anniversary of the hijack attacks.

More than 3,000 people were killed by the hijackers who seized four commercial airliners, slammed two into New York’s World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon. The fourth plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania.

The poem, translated into English and published in full below, describes a photograph of people falling from one of the World Trade Center’s twin towers after it was hit and on fire.

“They jumped from the burning storeys, down — one, two, a few more higher, lower.

A photograph captured them while they were alive and now preserves them above ground, towards the ground.

Each still whole with their own face and blood well hidden.

There is still time, for their hair to be tossed, and for keys and small change to fall from their pockets. They are still in the realm of the air, within the places which have just opened.

There are only two things I can do for them — to describe this flight and not to add a final word.”

Email This PagePrint This Page