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Anna Kamieńska

Tell me what’s the difference / between hope and waiting / because my heart doesn’t know / It constantly cuts itself on the glass of waiting / It constantly gets lost in the fog of hope  ― Anna Kamieńska , “DIfference,” Astonishments. (Paraclete Press (MA); First Edition edition July 1, 2007)

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Anna Kamieńska

He’s freed from his loneliness by the word. Isn’t that the point of poetry? Breaking through the walls of solitude. Poetry is the great S.O.S. of loneliness. —  Anna Kamieńska, from “Industrious Amazement: A Notebook,” Poetry; Mar2011, Vol. 197 Issue 6, p503

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Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Griffin Poetry Prize (2016) · Heinrich Mann Prize (2015) · Kościelski Award (1975) · Neustadt International Prize for Literature (2004) · Passage · Poetry · Polish Culture · Polish Literature

Adam Zagajewski

In love with the earth, always drawn to shore,sending wave after wave—and each diesexhausted, like a Greek messenger. At dawn only whispers reach us,the low murmur of pebbles cast on sand(sensed even in the fishing town’s small square). — Adam Zagajewski, from “The Sea,” Eternal Enemies. Transl. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008)

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Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Griffin Poetry Prize (2016) · Heinrich Mann Prize (2015) · Kościelski Award (1975) · Neustadt International Prize for Literature (2004) · Passage · Poetry · Polish Culture · Polish Literature

Adam Zagajewski

Remember the moments when we were togetherin a white room and the curtain fluttered.Return in thought to the concert where music flared.You gathered acorns in the park in autumnand leaves eddied over the earth’s scars.Praise the mutilated worldand the gray feather a thrush lost,and the gentle light that strays and vanishesand returns. —Adam Zagajewski, from… Continue reading Adam Zagajewski

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Classic · Collection · Essay · Excerpt · Passage · Poetry · Polish Culture · Polish Literature · Prose Poetry

Zbigniew Herbert

A blonde girl is bent over a poem. With a pencil sharp as a lancet she transfers the words to a blank page and changes them into strokes, accents, caesuras. The lament of a fallen poet now looks like a salamander eaten away by ants. When we carried him away under machine-gun fire, I believed… Continue reading Zbigniew Herbert

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