On the far side of the lake, the shattered pane of an ice floe,
closer in waves like soft streaks, one by one
docking near the shore,
then setting out from shore.
Later I watched as a heron skimmed over that icy pane,
both real and reflected,
reflected and real:
that day I did nothing,
yet I did everything necessary.
The poem is pretty self-evident. Let readers take it in and figure out what’s going on. But beneath what’s universal in it, there’s something more prosaic and individual. When, for a long period, I was unable to finish a book of poems, another poet encouraged me—since I had a fellowship to Berlin—to work on poetry there instead of prose. I had always believed that poems come when they want to, but this time it was a matter of attitude, of making a habit of observing reality. In a month’s time, I had more than a dozen poems, including this one, and that Berlin notebook filled out my collection Najdziwniejsze (The strangest).