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  4. I Knocked My Head against the Wall by Anna Swir
I Knocked My Head against the Wall

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As a child
I put my finger in the fire
to become
a saint.

As a teenager
every day I would knock my head against the wall.

As a young girl
I went out through a window of a garret
to the roof
in order to jump.

As a woman
I had lice all over my body.
They cracked when I was ironing my sweater.

I waited sixty minutes
to be executed.
I was hungry for six years.

Then I bore a child,
they were carving me
without putting me to sleep.

Then a thunderbolt killed me
three times and I had to rise from the dead three times
without anyone’s help.

Now I am resting
after three resurrections.


Anna Swir, “I Knocked My Head against the Wall” from Talking to My Body, translated by Czeslaw Milosz and Leonard Nathan. Copyright © 1996 by Czeslaw Milosz and Leonard Nathan. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.org.
Source: Talking to My Body (1996)
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I Knocked My Head against the Wall

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