The Library of Congress

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Poem Number 028

This short poem expresses
a belief in the impossible.


Leopold Staff

I built on the sand
And it tumbled down,
I built on a rock
And it tumbled down.
Now when I build, I shall begin
With the smoke from the chimney.


from Postwar Polish Poetry
(ed Czeslaw Milosz) Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing
Translated from the Polish by Czeslaw Milosz

Copyright 1965 by Leopold Staff.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced with permission (click for permissions information).