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|Genre/Form:||Translations into English|
|Named Person:||Adam Zagajewski|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
Adam Zagajewski; Renata Gorczynski; Benjamin Ivry; C K Williams
|Description:||vii, 81 p. ; 22 cm.|
|Responsibility:||Adam Zagajewski ; translated from the Polish by Renata Gorczynski ; Benjamin Ivry ; and C.K. Williams.|
Parmenides / are both right," Zagajewski asks, "and two worlds exist side by side, / one serene, the other insane ..." "Who owns the earth ... / By day it's conquered / by square-skulled men: / police. At nights / we reclaim our homeland." The outer world, political reality, is opposed by another realm, equally immediate and tangible if evanescent, where "despair turns to rapture; and the hard fruits of stars in the sky / ripen like grapes and beauty endures, shaken.
Unperturbed." Though he came to maturity in the upheavals of late Communist Poland and since 1981 has lived in France, Zagajewski is not a poet of exile. The condition he describes is existential, universal. His occasions are instants of contemplation, crucial if unremarkable moments in the lives of his heroes--Schubert, Simone Weil, Mozart, Bruckner--and in his own daily experience. The dualism of Zagajewski's art is double-edged. "Clearly nothing links enlightenment.
And the dark pain of cruelty," he writes. "At least two kingdoms exist / if not more." Cruelty coexists with enlightenment, true; but the reverse is also the case. And this is perhaps the ultimate spur for the questioning, the wonder, the insatiable hunger for being that are the most insistent and profound themes in this great poet's work.