United States, (b. 1935)
In Poland, Pigs
- Having roughly the body weight of humans,
- the pig is a subject for tests of various kinds –
- of drugs, for example, but also of man’s (and woman’s)
- aspirations. All of us turn our minds
- to heaven, hope for justice, pray that the swine
- who cheated us, who checked us on this earth,
- will suffer punishments, undergo such fine
- tortures, we cannot imagine them; that our worth
- will be recognized; that the meek will be blessed, the last
- promoted first, and the mighty be brought low.
- We wish, we try to believe, and we hold fast
- to such old and pleasant texts as promise so.
- In Poland, pigs – or some of them – are dressed
- in burlap suits, while others in the sty
- wallow naked. Why should some be blessed,
- tricked out in relative finery, and why
- should others fare less well? The questioning pig
- assuming such a creature, would not understand
- the obvious truth if he heard it. (One need not dig
- for truth as sows do for truffles.) The grand
- couture is perfectly practical. It protects
- the pigs skins, keeps them from getting scarred –
- not for this pig’s world, but for the next,
- for the curriers’ and the wallet makers’ hard
- scrutiny, and their customers’, who demand
- quality goods. The pigs know nothing of this
- and do not pray. They do not understand
- peace or justice, or try to imagine bliss.
About the Poet
David R. Slavitt, United States, (b. 1935) is a poet, novelist, critic, essayist, editor, journalist and translator who has published more than seventy works of fiction, poetry, and drama in translation.
Slavitt has taught at Temple University, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, Yale, Princeton University, and Bennington College. His verse confronts largest human experiences of love, joy, grief, loss, and death.