Photograph from September 11
by Wislawa Szymborska
They jumped from the burning floors—
one, two, a few more,
The photograph halted them in life,
and now keeps them
above the earth toward the earth.
Each is still complete,
with a particular face
and blood well hidden.
There’s enough time
for hair to come loose,
for keys and coins
to fall from pockets.
You can read the rest of the poem here.
Photograph from September 11 comes from Wislawa’s book Monologue of a Dog, which includes a foreword by Billy Collins.
Click here to read a review of Monologue of a Dog that appeared in the Boston Globe in 2006, the year the book was published. The book includes poems written in Szymborska's native language (Polish) and their English translations by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak.