Today we read an old poem again. 



The Door by Miroslav Holub (1961)


Go and open the door.

    Maybe outside there’s

    a tree, or a wood,

    a garden,

    or a magic city.


Go and open the door.

    Maybe a dog’s rummaging.

    Maybe you’ll see a face,

or an eye,

or the picture

                    of a picture.


Go and open the door.

    If there’s a fog

    it will clear.


Go and open the door.

    Even if there’s only

    the darkness ticking,

    even if there’s only

    the hollow wind,

    even if


                            is there,

go and open the door.


At least

there’ll be

a draught.



Miroslav Holub was a Czechoslovakian poet (1923 – 1998), and also one of its leading scientists. His work is heavily influenced by his experiences as an immunologist. ‘The Door’ is from ‘Before’, a collection of poems that were all written before the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Renny O’Shea used a recording of ‘The Door’ at the start of her eight-and-a-half minute piece in total darkness, Something a taxi driver in Liverpool said… (2002).

Quarantine Archive
View all

Made by Quarantine

This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work!

Please upgrade today!