Poetry in Motion


Four in the Morning

Wislawa Szymborska
A white poster with an abstract gold design features the poem, Four in the Morning by Wislawa Szymborska written in black and red text.

The hour from night to day.
The hour from side to side.
The hour for those past thirty.

The hour swept clean to the crowing of cocks.
The hour when earth betrays us.
The hour when wind blows from extinguished stars.
The hour of and-what-if-nothing-remains-after-us.

The hollow hour.
Blank, empty.
The very pit of all other hours.

No one feels good at four in the morning.
If ants feel good at four in the morning
—three cheers for the ants. And let five o'clock come
if we're to go on living.

Translated by Magnus J. Krynski and Robert A. Maguire

"Four in the Morning" from Sounds, Feelings, Thoughts: Seventy Poems by Wislawa Szymborska. Copyright © 1981 Princeton University Press. Reprinted with the permission of Princeton University Press.