Dan Pagis: “A Small Poetics”

A SMALL POETICS

You’re allowed to write everything,
for example, and and and.
You’re allowed with all the words you find,
all the meanings you plant among them.

It’s a good idea, of course, to check
if the voice is your voice
and the hands are your hands,

If so, lock up your voice,
gather your hands, and obey
the voice of
the empty page.

Dan Pagis

Translation by Stephen Mitchell

Photo credit: Detail from Crumpled Paper by ArtByChrysti