"An anti-poet relentlessly, even ruthlessly determined to tell the truth, however painful it may be."—Edward Hirsch
Widely held to be the most influential Polish poet of a generation that includes Czeslaw Milosz and Wislawa Szymborska, Tadeusz Rózewicz gives voice in the sharpest, most disturbing way to the crisis of values that has plagued our civilization. Joanna Trzeciak's new translation displays Rózewicz's supernatural simplicity, his stark diction and sudden turns.
From "regression into the primordial soup"
finally I too came into the world
in the year 1921 and suddenly . . .
atchoo! time passes I am old and forgot where I put my glasses
I forgot there was
history Caesar Hitler Mata Hari
Stalin capitalism communism
Einstein Picasso Al Capone
Alka Seltzer Al Qaeda
About the Author
Tadeusz Rózewicz was born in Poland in 1921. He is a major poet and playwright.
Joanna Trzeciak's translations include Miracle Fair: Selected Poems of Wislawa Szymborska, winner of the Heldt Translation Prize. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
Edward Hirsch has published seven books of poems, including Special Orders. He lives in New York City.
Striking . . . chilling. . . . [Rozewicz’s work] embodies that particular anxiety and familiar sense of diminishment we still associate with being ‘modern.’
— The Nation
Rozewicz is that rare character—a skeptic as full of passion as of intelligence, of warmth as wariness.
— judges’ citation, Griffin Poetry Prize
Instead of answers, the poet offers only an examination. Like it or not, he says, this is all we have: a fragment, a glimpse, a rustle.
— New Republic