Monday, September 1, 2008

Try to Praise the Mutilated World


My apologies for posting this two days late. I was at a family funeral and, contrary to expectations, could not find the time and the hot spot to post from the road. I really am sorry about this.

Dear Everybody:

Today we have a translation of a work from a poet about whom all I know is that he’s Polish.

Linguistically, Polish is quite a distance from English. Which makes the easy, unforced beauty of the following a small miracle:

Try To Praise The Mutilated World By Adam Zagajewski

Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June's long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.

[The rest of the poem has been removed because it’s almost certainly still in copyright. But I doubt you’ll have any trouble finding it on the Web.]

Wow. What we have here is a poem of hope for people who have seen the worst, been through Soviet occupation, suffered wars and injustice. A poem that doesn’t deny the hurt and pain of the world, but reminds you that, underneath it all, life is an extraordinary gift.

There is a lot of stuff packed into the 134 words of that poem. How much? Well, my next novel should run to about 150,000 words and say essentially the same thing.

All best,


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