June 29, 2012

A Word on Statistics


by Wislawa Szymborska
Translated from Polish by Joanna Trzeciak

Out of every hundred people,

Those who always know better:
fifty-two.

Unsure of every step:
almost all the rest.

Ready to help,
if it doesn't take long:
forty-nine.

Always good,
because they cannot be otherwise:
four -- well, maybe five.

Able to admire without envy:
eighteen.

Led to error
by youth (which passes):
sixty, plus or minus.

Those not to be messed with:
four-and-forty.

Living in constant fear
of someone or something:
seventy-seven.

Capable of happiness:
twenty-some-odd at most.


Harmless alone,
turning savage in crowds:
more than half, for sure.

Cruel
when forced by circumstances:
it's better not to know,
not even approximately.

Wise in hindsight:
not many more
than wise in foresight.

Getting nothing out of life except things:
thirty
(though I would like to be wrong).

Balled up in pain
and without a flashlight in the dark:
eighty-three, sooner or later.

Those who are just:
quite a few, thirty-five.

But if it takes effort to understand:
three.

Worthy of empathy:
ninety-nine.

Mortal:
one hundred out of one hundred --
a figure that has never varied yet.

4 comments:

  1. Khushi holam dekhe je ami besh koyekta bhalo category te pori :) Tobe "harmless alone, turns savage in crowd" ta dekhe amar class 8 er katha mone holo. Amader class teacher bolechilen amader nijeder ekta video dekhaben. Amra class e jokhon jhamela kortam, setar. Onar dharona chilo, barite eka eka seta dekhle amra lojja pabo... amra sei experiment kore dekhini seta bola bahulyo :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ওরে বাবা, এ তো পুরো সাইকোথেরাপি! বেশ করেছ ওই ভিডিও দেখনি রিয়া।

      আমিও দেখে খুশি হয়েছি যে কয়েকটা ভালো ক্যাটেগরিতে পড়েছি। খারাপেও পড়েছি কিন্তু সেগুলোতে এই বলে নিজেকে সান্ত্বনা দিয়েছি যে, ওহ বেশিরভাগ লোকেই পড়েছে। কাজেই আমি কিছু এক্সট্রা খারাপ নই।

      Delete
  2. 88.3% of all statistics in the world is made up on the spot, janen to?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. সে আপনারা নিন্দুকেরা সংখ্যাতত্ত্বের নামে যতই নিন্দেমন্দ করুন না কেন, স্ট্যাটিসটিকস দেখলেই বিশ্বাস করতে ইচ্ছে করে। আমার অন্তত করে।

      Delete

 
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