I have not died for Poland yet


I have not died
for Poland yet


it is true – the worst evaded me
I was born nine years after the war
therefore I did not hear the shots in the forest of Katyń
and Auschwitz I have only seen once
during a school trip
later when there were tanks on the streets of Polish cities
like seals validating martial law
I did not stand in front of them with a bottle of gasoline
flavoured with freedom and dreams
and to this day I am not completely certain
what I missed out on more
opportunity or bravery
many years have gone by since then
and more and more often I cannot fall asleep
as if I had a justified regret against myself
that I have not died yet
for Poland


translation: ADAM R. PROKOP


FATHER WACŁAW BURYŁA – born in 1954, probably the best known Lower Silesian priest who writes poems. His works have been translated into many European languages, and repeatedly published and presented on the radio. He is also active in cultural circles. For over twenty years Father Buryła has been organising a poetry competition. His books, including the original version of this poem, can be found on the writer’s website wacburyla.plio.pl.
The poem itself seems very Polish, as it refers to two very characteristic national features: a love for the beauty of poetry and an appreciation of courage and patriotism.