I believe in the great discovery.

I believe in the man who will make the discovery.

I believe in the fear of the man who will make the discovery.


I believe in his face going white,

his queasiness, his upper lip drenched in cold sweat.


I belive in the burning of his notes,

burning them into ashes,

burning them to the last scrap.


I believe in the scattering of numbers,

scattering them without regret.


I believe in the manís haste,

in the precision of his movements,

in his free will.


I believe in the shattering of tablets,

the pouring out of liquids,

the extinguishing of rays.


I am convinced this will end well,

that it will not be too late,

that it will take place without witnesses.


Iím sure no one will find out what happened,

not the wife, not the wall,

not even the bird that might squeal in its song.


I believe in the refusal to take part.

I believe in the ruined career.

I believe in the wasted years of work.

I believe in the secret taken to the grave.


These words soar for me beyond all rules

without seeking support from actual examples.

My faith is strong, blind and without foundation.



Wisława Szymborska††††††††††††††

(from Could Have 1972)†††††††††††