Love at First Sight: Wislawa Szymborska

I got so caught up with Obama’s Inauguration and the Sundance festival that I almost forgot to share with you my weekly dose of poetry. We all need a good poem once in awhile to soothe the soul. What I’m sharing with you today is Love at First Sight, a poem by Wislawa Szymborska, a polish Nobel Laurate for Literature.

love

I’m sharing this poem because this 25th of January marks our 3rd wedding anniversary. This is my way of showing how much I love Huz, and how I am so tickled by the “revelations” unfolding in our lives.  Let me just share with you what I wrote down after one of the “revelation” we had last December.

You couldn’t help but think that sometimes there is such a thing as destiny.

When I met Huz, I was instantly drawn to him. And he wasn’t such a pretty boy back then. He had long stringy hair,eye glasses, and a day-old beard on his face; he looked like a hippy from the 70’s.

We met at a poetry group that I stumbled upon, a group I joined to break the monotony of my empty, materialistic, party-loving existence. I loved being part of it and I didn’t plan on dating anyone from the group, but Huz asked me out, and after that we were inseparable.

Initially I thought, how little we have in common. An intellectual going out with someone like me who frequented bars, rock concerts, and dated weird rock musicians. Who’d have thought that our lives were so intertwined?

We were born in the same neighborhood. Our birth certificates show the same street address, his family living just 3-4 houses away. However, a year after he was born, our families both moved to live in Pasig, at opposite ends of Pasig that is.

Last year, at my cousin’s wedding, we found out that our story goes far deeper than we thought. It turns out that my uncle and aunt knew them, and my aunt Pong was Huz’s “yaya” when he was little. He watched over little Ronald when he was a little baby, the same aunt, who we always visit in Mandaluyong. You see, my uncle and aunt worked at the same factory where his Mom used to work. And his uncle and aunt who worked at the same factory also know my uncle and aunt as well.

Yesterday, we talked to Aunt Pong’s sister, and they were all pleasantly surprised to know I married the “little boy” that they took care of. Their bestfriend’s son… how cool is that?!

We love to talk about it: How out of all the people we dated in the past, out of all the colorful events that happened in our lives, we suddenly found each other, in Mandaluyong where we both were born.

Serendipity they call it. I didn’t even know there was such a word before I met him. To quote a line from the song by EBTG (Everything but the Girl) “I didn’t know I was looking for love till I found you”. Happy Anniversary Huz! Here’s our favorite poem!

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

They’re both convinced
that a sudden passion joined them.
Such certainty is more beautiful,
but uncertainty is more beautiful still.

Since they’d never met before, they’re sure
that there’d been nothing between them.
But what’s the word from the streets, staircases, hallways–
perhaps they’ve passed by each other a million times?

I want to ask them
if they don’t remember–
a moment face to face
in some revolving door?
perhaps a “sorry” muttered in a crowd?
a curt “wrong number”caught in the receiver?–
but I know the answer.
No, they don’t remember.

They’d be amazed to hear
that Chance has been toying with them
now for years.

Not quite ready yet
to become their Destiny,
it pushed them close, drove them apart,
it barred their path,
stifling a laugh,
and then leaped aside.

There were signs and signals,
even if they couldn’t read them yet.
Perhaps three years ago
or just last Tuesday
a certain leaf fluttered
from one shoulder to another?
Something was dropped and then picked up.
Who knows, maybe the ball that vanished
into childhood’s thicket?

There were doorknobs and doorbells
where one touch had covered another
beforehand.
Suitcases checked and standing side by side.
One night. perhaps, the same dream,
grown hazy by morning.

Every beginning
is only a sequel, after all,
and the book of events
is always open halfway through.

3 thoughts on “Love at First Sight: Wislawa Szymborska

    • Thank you! I know it’s still weeks away from Valentines day, but ain’t it nice to know there is always someone out there for us🙂 Glad you liked the poem🙂

  1. Hi! I love that you included “Love at First Sight,” it’s one of my favorite Szymborska poems! I read her entire collection and I always find something that resonates with me.

    I actually created an entire album of pop songs based on her poetry. Love at First Sight is actually one of the songs in my collection!

    You can check us out at:

    http://www.closerocean.com

    or on itunes:

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/supercollider/id387574155

    also, you can follow us on facebook:

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Closer-Ocean/102043189851593?ref=ts

    Thanks for listening!

    Kevin

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