Articles tagged "Polish"


The Ship-breakers

1 Shuel is eighteen years old, in a checked shirt hanging loose over his trousers, and with the trusting smile of a child to whom nobody has ever done any harm. Shuel and I are sunk up to our ankles in…...

Kyrgyzstan: Shade and Shadow

No Bukhara, no Samarkand, no meaning, just bare life in the rarefied air. That had been what I was after. A clarity of existence. To see sand sifting through the post-imperial rust. That would be enough…...

Ketchup

I read in the newspaper that the Apocalypse wasn’t going to happen. To celebrate this piece of good news, I went to McDonald’s and ordered a hamburger. “How fortunate,” I thought,…...

I Wish I Had a Master

               for S.F. I wish I had a master to teach me how to live, to eat with knife and fork as well as to write poems he’d tell me how the…...

Alterity

The rules are clear: no place to mill about. There’s no such thing as comfort for unhappy men. He leaves the tall house and passes through the eye of the blizzard, insignias unpinned, his neck exposed…...

only i am

it'll happen via levels and verticals, you won't even notice before a cluster of tongues has ground you, smelt from your body a thimble for death. you have no chance without me. only i am cruelty-free:…...

Adjectival Poem

Amazing spring, warm, humid and full of backlit trees in various colors, even if it’s still unclear which ones, except for the rhododendron, which one way or another stays in shape, though it’s…...

Bugging

And of course the birds go on chirping, and how! Even if they’re not chirping. Bah, wires can chirp almost as well, so it’s easy to confuse them. It’s altogether loud and sensuous, almost…...

Utensils Shrink

children grow, no doubt happily verbs swell before your eyes or burst their seams, everything does something to be happy inevitably. In Studio “Bernardi,” Łódź, 17 Piotr- kowska…...

Old-Fashioned

And then she died on us, utterly. The leg dead, the foot rough. The bend of the knee glows with emptiness. And the belly’s warmth turns to ash, a black sachet filled with down. Even the cigarette,…...

Andrzej Sosnowski’s “Lodgings”

Prominent figures in Poland’s postwar literary pantheon—such as Czeslaw Milosz and, later, Zbigniew Herbert, Wislawa Szymborska, and Tadeusz Rózewicz—have in some ways shaped our…...

from “Gombrowicz in Argentina”

Rita Gombrowicz’s Gombrowicz in Argentina (Gombrowicz en Argentine, 1984) and Gombrowicz in Europe (Gombrowicz en Europe, 1988) pull together her years of research into Witold Gombrowicz's…...

Jerzy Pilch’s “A Thousand Peaceful Cities”

Hailed by Czeslaw Milosz as "the hope of young Polish prose" and often compared with the Polish master of surrealist pranks Witold Gombrowicz, in the third of his novels to be published in English the…...

A Thousand

We exist on innumerable photographs. Whoever you are you exist. In a country landscape there is no place for sublime pleasures of the soul. Whoever’s tired of the city this, or some other, can go…...

from “The Fool”

The Fool (Głupiec, 2005) is set in contemporary Olsztyn, author Ewa Schilling's hometown in northeastern Poland. Alina is a thirty-year-old high school teacher and the daughter of a Lutheran pastor,…...

An Interview with Ewa Schilling

This interview was conducted by email, in English and Polish, between 24 May and 1 June, 2010.   W. Martin: How did you begin writing The Fool (Głupiec), and what motivated you to tell this particular…...

Olga Tokarczuk’s “Primeval and Other Times”

On April 10, 2010, heavy fog in the vicinity of the Russian forest of Katyn determined the fate of Poland’s president, Lech Kaczynski, and ninety-six other Polish leaders, including members of parliament,…...

from “Dukla”

One Saturday the summer vacationers appeared. The village was slowly becoming a tourist spot. A few cabins, a woebegone hostel, a kiosk selling Wyszków beer in its special bottles. The locals were…...

Reading Rutka Laskier

From to time to time, a Dutch publisher will ask me to write a preface or an afterword to a book he plans to publish. I have written prefaces for authors as different as Machiavelli, Stendhal and Boris…...

A Juicer

So many saints that they obstruct the heavens. We have yet to buy a plastic Christ. Holy water which will be absorbed by the blotting paper of sin. Thoughts of unbelief watch us closely. Love converts.…...

The Smells of Evil

Let them hate, as long as they fear. --from the tragedy of Lucius Actius, Atreus The secret agent of order. He would prefer to present before the court the chaos of uncertainty. He places a teaspoon of…...

A Splinter

I like you a twenty-year old poet writes to me. A beginning carpenter of words. His letter smells of lumber. His muse still naps in rose wood. Ambitious noise in a literary sawmill. Apprentices veneer…...

Indiscretion

Had she busied herself in time with the systematic counting of ship screws it would not have come to this— indecent acts of poetry. Translation of "Niedyskrecja." Copyright by Ewa Lipska. By arrangement…...

Number One

And so what that our planet is bookable. The moon listed in property records. The sun included in a notarized deed. Numbered cities. Mortgaged streets. Multi-digital fate. New wars secured by property…...

“I peel potatoes, stroke you on the head, pick up a leaf”

I peel potatoes, stroke you on the head, pick up a leaf off the ground, turn on the light, light a cigarette, grab the doorknob, take out a tram ticket don't be in such a rush, you're greying too…...

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