dinsdag 20 december 2011

Grazyna Chrostowska, Polen (1921-1942)

Grazyna Chrostowska werd geboren op 20 september 1921 te Lublin, alwaar ze ook de middelbare school doorliep. Hier begon ze ook met het schrijven van gedichten en toonde veel interesse in film en toneel. Daarnaast zat ze bij de padvinderij.

Na de Duitse bezetting raakte ze betrokken bij het Poolse verzet "Komenda Obrónców Polski". Dit uitte zich onder andere door de distributie van verschillende ondergrondse kranten.

Op 8 mei 1941 werd ze samen met haar vader gearresteerd toen ze haar zus Apolonia opzocht in de gevangenis. In september van dat jaar werd ze op transport gezet naar Ravensbrück alwaar ze op 18 april 1942 tezamen met haar zuster en negen andere vrouwen gefusullieerd werd.

Enkele uren voor haar dood had ze nog een gedicht geschreven: Niepokój

I WOULD WANDER (Wędrowałabym...)

Now, I would wander endlessly,
In small towns, on unknown roads,
I would drag myself aimlessly,
Starting in the town of Hrubieszow.
From shops full of secrets,
To colorful, wonderful fairs,
I watch life in miniatures,
And the strangest collections in the antiquarian's shop.

The sad inns, full of strangers,
Odd looking faces from a century and a half ago,
Whenever I want, I may leave it,
Not looking back at anything,
Not waiting for anything,
And somewhere, in an empty restaurant, one winter evening
I want to meet you for a glass of wine.
We will be happy, sitting at the wooden table,
And talk to each other, at the late winter hour,

Then, we will go out into the winter storm
To walk against the wind,
As we always do, as we did before,
Then we part - happily, just with a smile,
Till the next rendezvous - after quite a while.

In prison, Lublin, 1941

THE STONES (Kamienie)

I used to like watching stones,
They are naked, simple like a truth.
Silent rough beings.
Without tears and love - without complaint…
Thrown on huge, wide earth…
Stripped yearnings, free from hope
Stand, belonging to nobody, yet with grief…
Of their hard eternity
Free from illusion -
Alone in nothingness.
And I sorrowed unwisely over something,
That I might cry among those mute rocks,
That winds chop them up,
Storms are passing by,
But they last -
And nobody rules over them,
Because they had lived
And became human hearts.

Ravensbrück, 1941

* * *

The suffering touched me too early,
I have burned myself out,
I am the bright ash without desire.
Now, only the silence endures dearly,
When I am still standing in the fire.

Ravensbrück 13th April, 1942


Silent rows of grey, low buildings
And equally grey skies,
The grayness without hope.
Droves of different people, lost in gloom.
The grim picture, strange, too much silence.
In the dead emptiness, homesickness drags itself following silence,
A pale, strong and mute despair, suffocated by emotion
Wanders in dark, blind nooks-
Listen, free forests sibilate beyond it.
Are we? Are we enduring? Still the same-
I don't feel my being,
Don't see, don't follow.
We have been leaving traces
More shallow than oblivion,
On the foreign, harsh land.
We had been here and nothing else.

Ravensbrück, 1942

OUTSIDE THE WINDOW (Za oknem wiatr)

Outside the window,
Wind is swinging the happy storm,
But behind the bars you hear at last,
Life - Just think: Twenty years old,
And our night dreams,
Go down the sink.
Yet - it is nothing,
What does the world we live in look like?

* * *

I hide in my heart
The painful bleeding rose -
But, if the heart is empty,
Would I have remorse?

OUTSIDE THE BARS IN THE SUN (Za kratą w słońcu)

Outside the bars in the sun are green trees,
Tiny flower beds with petite pansies -
Far away is the patch of blue skies
And those faithful words "Pray for us".

People are always and everywhere the same -
How long can you be under illusion?
What more can be expected of them;
They are cruel, poor, uninteresting and small,
And I am with them. There is nothing more.

SNOW (Śnieg)

There is a lot of snow,
They sell Christmas Trees on squares
And someone expects irrationally,
That just today is the girls return,
To the merry rally,
And that all of us together,
Dad and we and Kasia, will be forever.

Snow is falling quietly outside the window,
The last traces of tiny feet disappeare on the road,
In the white storm of the time, everything is lost,
But our God sits in the evening under the tree,
We believe; he is close when we have a cup of tea.

TO WLADKA (Władce)

You are walking in the forest.
With bare, naked feet,
You are treading the fragrant moss along the ray of sun.
The forest is full of secrets, rustles
And the sibilants of homesickness;
It is the strange wildwood of love.

Do you smell the forest ground,
Hidden in the hissing green?
Life grows, flows and strengthens
From the deep veins of roots.

Do you see with the forest eyes,
the secret, quiet depth of retreats?
You know - there is no sun there.
The odd murmur, the deepest color: dark-green…

Ravensbrück, 8th March, 1942


I had the dream where you read your own poems,
Like those written sometime ago,
only these were in the grey book
written after death…

And you look finer, paler and tinier every passing moment,
Then you disappeare.

The last to vanish were your hands
And only the poems were left unharmed
And in the poems was left
someone's heart.

MOMENTS (Chwile)

Moments are passing by, empty or bleak.
They are never as we wish.
Nobody's day follows a beaten path.
Colorless and wasted, lost in helplessness,
And in every moment….
Think about this - life is passing, running out,
So what am I waiting for?
Though nothing abides.

THE CASUAL SKETCH (Szkic przygodny)

This man, as if he had no face,
Husks instead of glittering eyes,
Focused and without expression
It is obvious - they were empty.
I haven't seen his hands despite
the fact that he had passed me by.
He walked tall,but unsteady
apeared to be dim.
His hands, had to be weak,
they were empty and like slime.


I was looking for something lost.
Near by, there were small coffins
Poverty-stricken by the big things,
They were tiny at most,
Not mine, someone else
Too tight for my life, I guess,
And life itself,
what would it be like,
without me?
Let me think,
It would be indifferent I guess,
Like a letter, without subject matter.

* * *

I wish, the earth won't be heavy in your grave,
Or hard like stone, or bitter like salt.
Let your folded hands sleep for ever,
For eternity doesn't hurt, And the pain is not eternal.

THE TINY ROOM (Mały pokoik)

To Kasia

Tiny is your flat painted in white.
Flowers grow in narrow window.
The pictures of saints of long ago,
All are in wooden frames,
And all hang on the same wall.
There is a simple cross with rosary,
In the room's corner, herbs are on the table,
And a tiny bottle with consecrated water,
All has been given to God's care.
Small is your room where
Human heart faithfully waits.

Ravensbrück, 16th March, 1942


The day is like the inquietude of Chopin's music,
The birds, scared away from their nests are circling
Low above the earth,
They are listening, afraid…

Quietness in the nature, warmth is like before a storm.
From the West, low, dark clouds flow.
Waylaid fear strikes into the heart.
Homesickness, homesickness…

I want to walk on soggy roads,
Listen to the sound of wind,
Hunt the breath of spring time,
Feel the deepest feeling,
Find quietness in love.

I am walking, unable to find, keep changing and returning.
Somewhere far a way, village hamlets are left behind.

Clouds flew to the East,
And on the east side,
Lonely, leaning, dark trees endure,
In the wind, and in the quietness,
They are swung by the inquietude.

Ravensbrück. 18 April, 1942


alle gedichten vertaald uit het Pools door Jarek Gajewski

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