Submerged City

There is a poem by Adam Zagajewski from the collection ” Eternal Enemies ” that I would like to share it here with you. A friend of mine once told me that this poem reminds him of Pripyat, the eerie ghost city, abandoned after the wake of the Chernobyl disaster.

It is a city without people that stuck in a Soviet time warp, a melancholy meditation on impermanence. Among the ruins, plastic kitsch, shoes, political posters and other modern paraphernalia, nature is starting to reassert its authority. Grass and trees are reclaiming the city…

Chernobyl: Pictures of abandoned disaster zone 25 Daily Mail

Nevertheless, there are still things that we can learn about the Chernobyl disaster that might teach us valuable lessons.. Both in terms of having similar things built as well as being constantly threaten by the Israeli’s pre-emtive strikes on such facilities.


Submerged City

That city will be no more, no halos

of spring mornings when green hills

tremble in the mist and rise

like barrage balloons-

and May won’t cross its streets

with shrieking birds and summer’s promises.

No breathless spells,

no chilly ecstasies of springwater.

Church towers rest on the ocean’s floor,

and flawless views of leafy avenues

fix no one’s eyes.

And still we live on calmly,

humbly – from suitcases,

in waiting rooms, on airplanes, trains,

and still, stubbornly, blindly, we seek an image,

the final form of things

between inexplicable fits

of mute despair –

as if vaguely remembering

something that cannot be recalled,

as if that submerged city were travelling with us,

always asking questions,

and always unhappy with our answers-

exacting and perfect in its way.

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