October 14th, 2008

poetry, exceptindreams

315: Mr. Cogito's Soul

"Mr. Cogito's Soul"
Zbigniew Herbert

In the past
we know from history
she would go out from the body
when the heart stopped

with the last breath
she went quietly away
to the blue meadows of heaven

    Mr. Cogito's soul
    acts differently

    during his life she leaves his body
    without a word of farewell

    for months for years she lives
    on different continents
    beyond the frontiers
    of Mr. Cogito

    it is hard to locate her address
    she sends no news of herself
    avoids contacts
    doesn't write letters

    no one knows when she will return
    perhaps she has left forever

Mr. Cogito struggles to overcome
the base feeling of jealousy

He thinks well of his soul
thinks of her with tenderness

undoubtedly she must live also
in the bodies of others

certainly there are too few souls
for all humanity

Mr. Cogito accepts his fate
he has no other way out

he even attempts to say
--my own soul mine

he thinks of his soul affectionately
he thinks of his soul with tenderness

therefore when she appears
he doesn't welcome her with the words
--it's good you've come back

he only looks at her from an angle
as she sits before the mirror
combing her hair
tangled and grey