Wisława Szymborska - Everyone Sometime

Everyone sometime has somebody close die,
between to be or not to be
he’s forced to choose the latter.

We can’t admit that it’s a mundane fact,
subsumed in the course of events,
in accordance with procedure:

sooner or later on the daily docket,
the evening, late night, or first dawn docket;

and explicit as an entry in an index,
as a statute in a codex,
as any chance date
on a calendar.

But such is the right and left of nature.
Such, willy-nilly, is her omen and her amen.
Such are her instruments and omnipotence.

And only on occasion
a small favor on her part—
she tosses our dead loved ones
into dreams.


(Translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanisław Barańczak)

from Map: Collected and Last Poems by Wisława Szymborska