Suffering (Miroslav Holub)

Ugly creatures, ugly grunting creatures,
Completely concealed under the point of the needle,
behind the curve of the Research Task Graph,
Disgusting creatures with foam at the mouth,
with bristles on their bottoms,
One after the other
They close their pink mouths
They open their pink mouths
They grow pale
Flutter their legs
as if they were running a very
long distance,
They dose ugly blue eyes,
They open ugly blue eyes
and
they’re
dead.

But I ask no questions,
no one asks any questions.

And after their death we let the ugly creatures
run in pieces along the white expanse
of the paper electrophore.

We let them graze in the greenish-blue pool
of the chromatogram
And in pieces we drive them for a dip
in alcohol
and xylol
And the immense eye of the ugly animal god
watches their every move
through the tube of the microscope
And the bits of animals are satisfied
like flowers in a flower-pot
like kittens at the bottom of a pond
like cells before conception.
But I ask no questions,
no one asks any questions,
Naturally no one asks
Whether these creatures wouldn’t have preferred
to live all in one piece,
their disgusting life
in bogs
and canals,
Whether they wouldn’t have preferred to eat
one another alive,
Whether they wouldn’t have preferred to make love
in between horror and hunger,
Whether they wouldn’t have preferred to use
all their eyes and pores to perceive
their muddy stinking little world
Incredibly terrified,
~ Incredibly happy
In the way of matter which can do no more.

But I ask no questions,
no one asks any questions,
Because it’s all quite useless,
Experiments succeed and experiments fail,
Like everything else in this world,
in which the truth advances
like some splendid silver bulldozer
in the tumbling darkness,
Like everything else in this world,
in which I met a lonely girl
inside a shop selling bridal veils,
In which I met a general covered
with oak leaves,
In which I met ambulance men who could find no
wounded,
In which I met a man who had lost
his name,
In which I met a glorious and famous, bronze,
incredibly terrified rat,
In which I met people who wanted to lay down
their lives and people who wanted to lay down
their heads in sorrow,
In which, come to think of it, I keep meeting my
own self at every step.

Discussion Questions:

1. Read the first stanza of this poem aloud. How does the rhythm of the piece
enhance or alter the meaning of the words?

2. Why does the author say he ‘asks no questions because its all quite useless?’

Advertisements

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s