Thursday, June 26, 2008

From Panhala

This turned up in my inbox today. It comes from Panhala. I thought it was too beautiful to keep to myself!


Some fishermen pulled a bottle from the deep. It held a piece of paper,
with these words: "Somebody save me! I'm here. The ocean cast me on this desert island.
I am standing on the shore waiting for help. Hurry! I'm here!"

"There's no date. I bet it's already too late anyway.
It could have been floating for years," the first fisherman said.

"And he doesn't say where. It's not even clear which ocean," the second fisherman said.

"It's not too late, or too far. The island Here is everywhere," the third fisherman said.

They all felt awkward. No one spoke. That's how it goes with universal truths.

~ Wislawa Szymborska ~

(Poems New and Collected 1957-1997, trans. S. Baranczak and C. Cavanagh)

(From the Panhala website)
Panhala is Hindi for "source of fresh water" (more or less). The purpose of this group is to share poems and prose that make the day a little brighter.

"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." -- Edith Wharton

To subscribe to Panhala, send a blank email to

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