Pstryk

Pstryk
Sterczy w ścianie taki pstryczek,
Mały pstryczek-elektryczek,
Jak tym pstryczkiem zrobić pstryk,
To się widno robi w mig.

Bardzo łatwo:
Pstryk - i światło!
Pstryknąć potem jeszcze raz,
Zaraz mrok otoczy nas.
A jak pstryknąć trzeci raz-
Znowu dawny świeci blask.

Taką siłę ma tajemną
Ten ukryty w ścianie smyk!
Ciemno - widno -
Widno - ciemno.

Któż to jest ten mały pstryk?
Może świetlik? Może ognik?
Jak tam dostał się i skąd?

To nie ognik. To przewodnik.
Taki drut, a w drucie PRĄD.
Robisz pstryk i włączasz PRĄD!
Elektryczny bystry PRRRRĄD!
I skąd światło?

Właśnie stąd!  
Julian Tuwim

From ‘Pstryk’, Wiersze zebrane, T.1 i 2 (Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1986), by permission of Fundacja im. Juliana Tuwima i Ireny Tuwim 2006.

Switch
In the wall there sticks a little switch,
A little switch – electric, which –
Just give that little switch a click –
Brings you light double quick.

It’s easy all right:
Click and there’s light!
Flick once more – then
We’re in darkness again.
And if you give it another go,
You get the glow you had before.

It has such a secret might,
There in the wall, that tiny trick! 
Night – light –
Light – night.

But tell me what’s that little switch? 
A spark? A candle in a stick?
How’d it get there? From where can it be? 

It’s no sparkle. It’s a cable.
Just a wire and –  it’s electricity!!
Just flick the switch and – electricity!
Electrically slick electriciteeeee!

So where’s the light from?
Now you see!
Translation (c) 2015 David Malcolm
Switch
In the wa there sits a braw wee switch,
A titch of a switch – ’lectric whit –
Jist gie that braw wee switch a click
Brings the licht richt affay quick!

There’s nae fash –
Jist flick for a flash.
An ae mair time jist flick it doon,
An mirk comes fluidin in aroon,
An gin ye wer tae flick it thrice
The licht’d be back in a trice.

It his sik a saicret micht
In the wa that knackie titch!
Nicht – licht –
Licht – nicht.

But tell me whit’s that braw wee switch?
Caunlelicht? A skinkle bricht?
Hoo’d it get there? Whaur’s it frae?

’S no an aizel. It’s a cable.
A bit o flex an – electricitay!!
Jist hit the switch an – electricitay!
’lectrically sleekie electricitaaaayyyy! 

So noo the licht -
Ye ken whaur it’s frae!
Pitten intae Scots by David Malcolm (c) 2015.
Julian Tuwim

Julian Tuwim was a Polish poet and translator who was born into a Jewish family in the city of Łódź in 1894.

Read more about this poet
About Pstryk

This poem was reproduced on a postcard for National Poetry Day 2015. Eight poetry postcards are published each year by the Scottish Poetry Library to celebrate National Poetry Day and are distributed throughout Scotland to schools, libraries and other venues. The theme for 2015 was 'light'.