The Two Apes of Brueghel (1957), Wisława Szymborska (1923-2011)
So appears my big graduation exam dream:
In a window sit two monkeys fixed by chains,
Beyond the window the sky flies
And the sea splashes.
The subject is the history of mankind.
I stammer and flail.
One monkey, gazing at me, ironically listens,
The second seems to doze –
But when after a question comes silence,
It prompts me
By softly clinking the chain.
Translation from the Polish by yours truly.
All I have to say about this poem is that a monkey rattling a chain is never a good thing, especially at a thesis committee update. See the original Brueghel painting here.