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Consolation
(2 July 1923 – 1 February 2012 / Prowent)

Consolation

Poem By Wislawa Szymborska

Darwin.
They say he read novels to relax,
But only certain kinds:
nothing that ended unhappily.
If anything like that turned up,
enraged, he flung the book into the fire.

True or not,
I’m ready to believe it.

Scanning in his mind so many times and places,
he’d had enough of dying species,
the triumphs of the strong over the weak,
the endless struggles to survive,
all doomed sooner or later.
He’d earned the right to happy endings,
at least in fiction
with its diminutions.

Hence the indispensable
silver lining,
the lovers reunited, the families reconciled,
the doubts dispelled, fidelity rewarded,
fortunes regained, treasures uncovered,
stiff-necked neighbors mending their ways,
good names restored, greed daunted,
old maids married off to worthy parsons,
troublemakers banished to other hemispheres,
forgers of documents tossed down the stairs,
seducers scurrying to the altar,
orphans sheltered, widows comforted,
pride humbled, wounds healed over,
prodigal sons summoned home,
cups of sorrow thrown into the ocean,
hankies drenched with tears of reconciliation,
general merriment and celebration,
and the dog Fido,
gone astray in the first chapter,
turns up barking gladly
in the last.

User Rating: 3,4 / 5 ( 18 votes ) 9

Comments (9)

'Fido', from the Latin for 'faithful'
Great poem. Enjoyed reading it. Glad to know that Darwin read happyending novels. Weak and meek do exist along with bold and strong, and none's existence is everlasting.
It is a nice piece of work by Wislawa Szymborska.
An amazing composition on Darwin and his liking for particular type of books has made the theme most innovative and worthy of selection as modern poem of the Day.
Great poem by a great poet


Comments