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by Clare Cavanagh,Adam Zagajewski

Download Eternal Enemies: Poems fb2, epub

ISBN: 0374531609
Author: Clare Cavanagh,Adam Zagajewski
Language: English
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1 edition (March 31, 2009)
Pages: 128
Category: Humanities
Subcategory: Other
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 342
Size Fb2: 1205 kb
Size ePub: 1615 kb
Size Djvu: 1140 kb
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Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). For Zagajewski, the past is an electrical current that informs his sensations as he walks the streets of Europe's once-great cities still reeling from the tremors.

The author and publisher have provided this e-book to you for your personal use only. America’s Sun. Antennas in the Rain. Also by Adam Zagajewski.

Translated by clare cavanagh. ADAM ZAGAJEWSKI was born in Lvov, Poland, in 1945. His previous books include Tremor, Canvas, Two Cities, Mysticism for Beginners, Another Beauty, Without End, and A Defense of Ardor-all published by FSG. He lives in Kraków, Paris, and Chicago. She has translated numerous volumes of Polish poetry and prose, including the work of Wislawa Szymborska, and is working on a biography of Czeslaw Milosz, to be published by FSG.

Eternal Enemies book. For Zagajewski, the past is an electrical current that informs his sensations as he walks the streets of Europe’s once-great cities still reeling from the tremors.

2 Books in English translation. Eternal Enemies: Poems. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Lyric and Public: The Case of Adam Zagajewski

2 Books in English translation. Lyric and Public: The Case of Adam Zagajewski. World Literature Today: A Literary Quarterly of the University of Oklahoma, 2005 May-Aug; 79 (2): 16-19.

Adam Zagajewski; Translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh. Adam Zagajewski was born in Lvov in 1945

Adam Zagajewski; Translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh. Adam Zagajewski was born in Lvov in 1945. His previous books include Tremor; Canvas; Mysticism for Beginners; Without End; Solidarity, Solitude; Two Cities; Another Beauty; and A Defense of Ardor-all published by FSG. He lives in Paris and Houston.

Tireless in small bays, commanding countless hosts of crabs who march sideways like damp veterans of the Punic Wars. At the beach near Cefalù, on Sicily, we saw countless heaps of trash, boxes, condoms, cartons, a faded sign saying ANTONIO. In love with the earth, always drawn to shore, sending wave after wave-and each dies exhausted, like a Greek messenger.

Eternal Enemies: Poems. by Adam Zagajewski This collection, gracefully translated by Clare Cavanagh, finds the poet reflecting. One of the most gifted and readable poets of his time, Adam Zagajewski is proving to be a contemporary classic. Few writers in either poetry or prose can be said to have attained the lucid intelligence and limpid economy of style that have become a matter of course with Zagajewski. It is these qualities, combined with his wry humor, gentle skepticism, and perpetual sense of history's dark possibilities, that have earned him a devoted international following.

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The highway became the Red Sea.We moved through the storm like a sheer valley.You drove; I looked at you with love.―from "Storm"One of the most gifted and readable poets of his time, Adam Zagajewski is proving to be a contemporary classic. Few writers in either poetry or prose can be said to have attained the lucid intelligence and limpid economy of style that have become a matter of course with Zagajewski. It is these qualities, combined with his wry humor, gentle skepticism, and perpetual sense of history's dark possibilities, that have earned him a devoted international following. This collection, gracefully translated by Clare Cavanagh, finds the poet reflecting on place, language, and history. Especially moving here are his tributes to writers, friends known in person or in books―people such as Milosz and Sebald, Brodsky and Blake―which intermingle naturally with portraits of family members and loved ones. Eternal Enemies is a luminous meeting of art and everyday life.

Comments:

Goldenfang
Absolutely loved it
Kison
Powerful, memorable poetry: 1) evokes our emotions; 2) possesses physicality appealing to one or more of our senses of sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste; 3) stays grounded in the concrete, specific world even when bordering on the general and philosophic; 4) speaks directly to us in a distinctive, unique voice and 5) opens outward toward a timeless, universal horizon.

It's a difficult tightrope act to get all of this in a collection of poems, let alone in one poem.

Nobody does it better than Adam Zagajewski. His new collection is loaded with the powerful, memorable poems every true lover of poetry craves.

In "Genealogy," for example, he evokes his Polish schoolmaster ancestors and calls them to life when he does his own teaching: "they turn their gaze at me/ revising my mutterings/ correcting my mistakes."

Poems like "Kermelicka Street," and "Traveling by Train Along the Hudson" provide a powerful sense of place and then turn the reader outward from that specificity.

Truth in advertising: since I neither read nor speak Polish my appreciation of Zagajewski's idiom must be tentative. But I am free to guess. My guess is that Zagajewski has even greater impact on the Polish speaker than on those of us who must read only Clare Cavanagh's translation.

Those who appreciate poetry must surely admit there's special power in that language and the culture it represents. Perhaps this accounts for that most remarkable event of our time, Poland's rebirth. How else to explain the profusion of modern poets: Zbigniew Herbert, Aleksander Wat, and Nobel Laureates Czeslaw Milosz (see my review of posthumously published Second Space: New Poems), Wislawa Szimborska (see Miracle Fair: Selected Poems of Wislawa Szymborska)? And as long as you are browsing, take a look at my review of Zagajewski's Without End: New and Selected Poems.

Zagajewski, known for his ironic, self-deprecatory voice, in his humble way becomes the universal man who goes on searching ("Poetry Searches for Radiance"):

In the streets and avenues of my city
quiet darkness is hard at work.
Poetry searches for radiance.
Risinal
Adam Zagajewski is often compared to the Polish poet Czeslaw Miloscz: both write of the proximity of history and memory in their native Poland, and both are seen as the preeminent writers to embody the emotions of that country. But where Milocz's sensibilities developed during the Nazi occupation of Warsaw and his defection from Poland's communist regime, Zagajewski was born in 1945, and was still an infant when his family relocated to Western Poland. Too young to remember World War II, Zagajewski matured in a country ruled by communism, his writing marked by his membership in the "Generation of `68" or "New Wave" of writers in Poland.

Zagajewski's earlier work was marked by angry protest, but in Eternal Enemies (translated by Clare Cavanagh, FSG Paperbacks, April 7, 2009, $14) the anger has mellowed to an acceptance of the weighty past that continues to push against the present. For Zagajewski, the past is an electrical current that informs his sensations as he walks the streets of Europe's once-great cities still reeling from the tremors.

Eternal Enemies covers a lot of ground: the importance of music; musings on Marx, Brodsky, and Milocz; meditative train trips and strolls through a multitude of cities. Yet it is Zagajewsky's sense of being born too late, of being excluded from the formation of history that stands out most in his writings. This sense of alienation can best be seen in his poem, "In a Little Apartment:"

"I ask my father, `what do you do all day?'

`I remember.'

...in a low block in the Soviet Style

that says all towns should look like barracks,

and cramped rooms will defeat conspiracies...

he relives daily the mild September of '39, its whistling bombs,

and the Jesuit Garden in Lvov, gleaming

with the green glow of maples and ash trees and small birds,

kayaks on the Dniester, the scent of wicker and wet sand,

that hot day when you met a girl who studied law,

the trip by freight car to the west, the final border,

two hundred roses from the students

grateful for your help in '68,

and other episodes I'll never know,

the kiss of a girl who didn't become my mother,

the fear and sweet gooseberries of childhood, images drawn

from that calm abyss before I was.

Your memory works in the quiet apartment--in silence,

Systematically, you struggle to retrieve for an instant

Your painful century."

By the time Zagajewski returns to Lvov after his family's exile, the very buildings weigh on the individual, silencing and smothering protest, echoes of the barracks used to house Poland's many prisoners of war.

A nostalgia for a past he himself did not experience is evinced by the juxtaposition of the "whistling bombs" to the gleaming green glow of Maples and the sound of sparrows, of life going on in spite of war.

The sense of being apart from history is repeated again and again: "other episodes I'll never know," "the kiss of a girl who didn't become my mother," "The calm abyss before I was," and the final, distancing, disowning gesture: "Your painful century."

It is in this last, accusing phrase, that some of the old anger comes to the surface. The generation of '68 around the globe felt an insurmountable distance between themselves and the lives of their parents, and this poem is partly a manifestation of this inaccessibility. Yet the very act of recording his father's memories--which we can assume would otherwise have continued to be replayed in the "quiet apartment," "in silence"-- is a testament to the role of the poet, and the Polish poet in particular. Zagajewski actively inherits the mantle of Milocz, the weight of his country's history on his shoulders.
Maldarbaq
Very mature, excellent poems by one of the most talented contemporary writers. Most of them are inspired by the poet's youth in Poland but they have much broader, universal meaning.

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