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The City Where I Want to Live (Polish poetry in translation)
Thread poster: Jacek Krankowski
Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
Oct 29, 2002

More modern Polish poetry in translation


My dear, you know I am in

but don’t sudenly enter

my room

You might see me


over a blank sheet

Can you write

about love

when you hear the cries of

the slaughtered and disgraced

can you write

about death

watching the little faces

of children

Do not sudenly

enter my room

You will see

a dumb and bound

witness to love

overcome by death

Tadeusz Rozewicz

(Translated from Polish by Adam Czerniawski)


The City Where I Want to Live

The city is quiet at dusk,

when pale stars waken from their swoon,

and resounds at noon with the voices

of ambitious philosophers and merchants

bearing velvet from the East.

The flames of conversation burn there,

but not pyres.

Old churches, the mossy stones

of ancient prayer, are both its ballast

and its rocket ship.

It is a just city

where foreigners aren’t punished,

a city quick to remember

and slow to forget,

tolerating poets, forgiving prophets

for their hopeless lack of humor.

The city was based

on Chopin’s preludes,

taking from them only joy and sorrow.

Small hills circle it

in a wide collar; ash trees

grow there, and the slim poplar,

chief justice in the state of trees.

The swift river flowing through the city’s heart

murmurs cryptic gretings

day and night

from the springs, the mountains, and the sky.

Adam Zagajewski

(Translated from Polish by Clare Cavanagh)

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Andrea Bullrich  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:28
English to Spanish
Beautiful Oct 29, 2002

Those are beautiful poems, thank you Jacek.


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The City Where I Want to Live (Polish poetry in translation)

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