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Poetry Month’s last salvo, from Knopf


April, T.S. Eliot’s cruelest month, has finally bid us goodbye. With its passing, poetry month also ended. Knopf’s last feature for the month is yet another Polish master of the craft, with whom I am delighted to be acquainted for the first time:

* They Carry a Promise, the first collection in English of the poems
of the Polish master Janusz Szuber, who here ponders the duties of his
craft:

****************************************

Written Late at Night

Almost all day I sat at the table
And, swapping two pens, wrote letters.
One of them, as a joke, was in gothic script.
I tried to be honest, avoid untruth
As far as the truth about myself and events
In their general contour was accessible to me.
Then a few longer phone conversations
And a short break to read eight poems by Cavafy.
How great! Superb! Who can write like that about desire and love,
Admitting that when they burn out
And the bitter tasting of the body is taken away,
They guide the poet’s hand. In them and only in them
All future incantations.

(Translation by Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough)

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Written by Romel

May 1, 2009 at 11:58 am

Posted in polish poetry, Szuber

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