Joy – it’s not just a gift. In a sense, it’s also a duty, a task to fulfill. Courage. – Anna Kamieńska, Astonishments: Selected Poems of Anna Kamienska. Paraclete Press (MA); First Edition edition July 1, 2007) Originally published 2007. Advertisements
And now you stand like a lonely tree open to all the winds and birds And now you shine like a lake and whether you want to or not you reflect the sky — Anna Kamienska, from “On a Sonnet by Leah Goldberg,” Astonishments: Selected Poems of Anna Kamienska. Paraclete Press (MA); First Edition edition… Continue reading Anna Kamienska
Dreams are featherweights, and memory can shake them off with ease. The real world doesn’t have to fear forgetfulness. It’s a tough customer. It sits on our shoulders, weights on our hearts, tumbles to our feet. There’s no escaping it, it tags along each time we flee. And there’s no stop along our escape route… Continue reading Wisława Szymborska
No sleep, not tonight. The window blazes. Over the city, fireworks soar and explode. No sleep: too much has gone on. Rows of books stand vigil above you. You’ll brood on what’s happened and what hasn’t. No sleep, not tonight. Your inflamed eyelids will rebel, your fiery eyes sting, your heart swell with remembrance. No… Continue reading Adam Zagajewski
Everything the dead predicted has turned out completely different. Or a little bit different—which is to say, completely different. — Wisława Szymborska, from “The Letters of the Dead,” Wszelki wypadek. (1972)
Poetry– but what sort of thing is poetry? More than one shaky answer has been given to this question. But I do not know and do not know and clutch on to it, as to a saving bannister. — Wislawa Szymborska, from “Some Like Poetry,” The New Yorker: October 21, 1996 Issue.
The purpose of poetry is to remind us how difficult it is to remain just one person, for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors, and invisible guests come in and out at will. — Czeslaw Milosz, from “Ars Poetica?,” The Collected Poems: 1931-1987 (The Ecco Press, 1988)