Sunday, June 13, 2010


Who ever thought a warm neck would become an armrest, or legs eager for flight and joy could stiffen into four simple stilts? Armchairs were once noble flower-eating creatures. However, they allowed themselves too easily to be domesticated and today they are the most wretched species of quadrupeds. They have lost all their stubbornness and courage. They are only meek. They haven't trampled anyone or galloped off with anyone. They are, for certain, conscious of a wasted life.

The despair of armchairs is revealed in their creaking.

— "Armchairs," by Zbigniew Herbert, in The Collected Poems 1956–1998.

For some 10 years I've been envisioning the ideal armchair, a noble creature indeed, to be my very own special reading spot. I've even gone so far as to clear a space for it. I would feed it flowers, but I feel bad now for even considering contributing to the repression of this downtrodden species. I guess I'll read in bed...

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