Jerzy Jarniewicz

(Polish) Poetry after Różewicz

I proselytize for Tadeusz Różewicz (1921–2014) and his poetic legacy as a new convert, not with unique insight into his importance or his poetics. That I leave to the eleven Polish poets sampled here (and several translators), who can testify better than I can.

Reticence: On Różewicz

For someone who has worked with, and in, words, Różewicz has always approached language with an uncompromising suspicion. I cannot think of another poet who distrusts words more consistently. After the war, when words seemed compromised, Różewicz made a utopian attempt to rebuild trust in words by returning to simplest phrases and basic truths.

Three Poems by Jerzy Jarniewicz (b. 1958)

Rorschach

It’s only coffee, as you can see, 

spilt on the table. So ostentatious

in its attempt to imitate the classic test,

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