|Marge Nelk, "Possible Worlds"|
To grasp the mechanics of this kind of reality construction, we need poetic consciousness. Let's start with an excerpt from a poem titled "Dreams" by the great Polish poet Wisława Szymborska.
Despite the geologists’ knowledge and craft,
mocking magnets, graphs, and maps—
in a split second the dream
piles before us mountains as stony
as real life.
And since mountains, then valleys, plains
with perfect infrastructures.
Without engineers, contractors, workers,
bulldozers, diggers, or supplies—
raging highways, instant bridges,
thickly populated pop-up cities.
Without directors, megaphones, and cameramen—
crowds knowing exactly when to frighten us
and when to vanish.
Without architects deft in their craft,
without carpenters, bricklayers, concrete pourers—
on the path a sudden house just like a toy,
and in it vast halls that echo with our steps
and walls constructed out of solid air.
Not just the scale, it’s also the precision—
a specific watch, an entire fly,
on the table a cloth with cross-stitched flowers,
a bitten apple with teeth marks.
- The complete version of this poem by the Polish poet and Nobel laureate, translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak, appeared in the September 2010 issue of Poetry magazine