Writing a Curriculum
by Wislawa Szymborska

What must you do?
You must submit an application
and enclose a Curriculum Vitae.
Regardless of how long your life is,
the Curriculum Vitae should be short.
Be concise, select facts.
Change landscape into addresses and
vague memories into fixed dates.
Of all your loves, mention only the marital,
and of the children, only those who were born.
It is more important who knows you
than whom you know.
Travels - only if abroad.
Affiliations - to what not why.
Awards - but not for what.
Write as if you never talked with yourself,
as if you looked at yourself from afar.
Omit dogs, cats and birds,
mementos, friends, dreams.
State price rather than value,
title rather than content.
Shoe size, not where one is going;
the one you are supposed to be.
Enclose a photo with one ear showing.
What counts is its shape, not what it hears.
What does it hear?
The clatter of machinery that shreds paper