Love at First Sight

Today’s Valentine’s Day so I want to share a poem. I learned about this poem from the movie “Turn Left, Turn Right”, a Taiwanese movie starring Takeshi Kaneshiro Gigi Leng based on an illustration book by Jimmy Liao. I watched it a long time ago. The reason I became interested in this again is that I bought a photo stand with a pic from “A Chance of Sunshine”, the illustration book, with a pic of a guy and a girl facing each other. I doubt that people will understand what it’s supposed to mean unless they have watched the movie or read the book. Thanks to Ma Suzu (from Bagan Net forum), I got to know the story ‘cuz she translated it in Myanmar using pics from the book. Too bad I can’t find that topic again. Trying to find a topic in Bagan Net forum is so hard. The search enginese hardly work and I always receive an error.

Anyway back to the topic, in the movie Gigi is a Polish translator who loves translating love poems and one of her favorite is this poem.

“Love at First Sight”
by Wislawa Szymborska

that a sudden passion joined them.
Such certainty is beautiful,
but uncertainty is more beautiful still

Since they’d never met before, they’re sure
that there’d been nothing between them.
But what’s the word from the streets, staircases, hallways—
perhaps they’ve passed each other a million times?

I want to ask them
if they don’t remember—
a moment face to face
in some revolving door?
perhaps a “sorry” muttered in a crowd?
a curt “wrong number” caught in the receiver?
but I know the answer.
No, they don’t remember

They’d be amazed to hear
that Chance has been toying with them
now for years.

Not quite ready yet
to become their Destiny,
it pushed them close, drove them apart,
it barred their path,
stifling a laugh,
and then leaped aside.

There were signs and signals,
even if they couldn’t read them yet.
Perhaps three years ago
or just last Tuesday
a certain leaf fluttered
from one shoulder to another?
Something was dropped and then picked up.
Who knows, maybe the ball that vanished
into childhood’s thicket?

There were doorknobs and doorbells
where one touch had covered another
Suitcases checked and standing side by side.
One night, perhaps, the same dream,
grown hazy by morning.

Every beginning
is only a sequel, after all,
and the book of events
is always open halfway through.



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