Jaan Kaplinski

1941 / Tartu, Estonia

I write a poem every day

I write a poem every day,
although I'm not quite sure if these texts
should be called poems at all.
It's not difficult, especially now,
when it's spring in Tartu, and everything is changing its form:
parks, lawns, branches, buds and clouds
above the town, even the sky and the stars.
If only I had enough eyes, ears and time
for this beauty that sucks us in like a whirlpool
covering everything with a poetical veil of hopes
where only one thing is uncannily sticking out:
the half-witted man sitting at the bus stop
taking boots from his dirty maimed feet,
his stick and his woolen cap lying beside him:
the same cap that was on his head
when you saw him that day standing
at the same stop at three in the morning
when the taxi drove you past him and the driver
said: ' The idiot has again got some booze.'
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