All day long, all through the night,
all affairs--yours, ours, theirs--
are political affairs.
Whether you like it or not,
your genes have a political past,
your skin, a political cast,
your eyes, a political slant.
Whatever you say reverberates,
whatever you don`t say speaks for itself.
So either way you`re talking politics.
Even when you take to the woods,
you`re taking political steps
on political grounds.
Apolitical poems are also political,
and above us shines a moon
no longer purely lunar.
To be or not to be, that is the question.
And though it troubles the digestion
it`s a question, as always, of politics.
To acquire a political meaning
you don`t even have to be human.
Raw material will do,
or protein feed, or crude oil,
or a conference table whose shape
was quarreled over for months;
Should we arbitrate life and death
at a round table or a square one?
Meanwhile, people perished,
and the fields ran wild
just as in times immemorial
and less political.
(trans. by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh)