From Publishers Weekly
An admired poet and sometime bestseller in Poland—and an important translator of poetry from English into Polish—Hartwig (now age 85) has also led a memorable life, fighting with the resistance in WWII and taking part in the Solidarity movement. This set of limpid, quotable, often bittersweet lyrics and prose poems makes clear that she could become as acclaimed here as her Nobel Prize compatriots Milosz and Symborska. Countryside landscapes and artifacts from the classical past come to Hartwig as emblems of human endurance, compassion and humility. The same virtues illuminate her poems on public occasions, from 9/11 to the era of Polish martial law: Lord we aren't the only nation tormented this way, she prays, don't let us take pride in it. Later poems speak to the international legacy she favors, especially to the French modernist Apollinaire. For all her topical interest Hartwig is finally a poet of enduring consolation, measured reassurance and scenic clarity, who may also appeal to fans of Mary Oliver. After the poet's death, one prose poem announces, she would like to be a statue looking at the sea, with darkness behind me. (Feb.)
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About the Author
has published more than a dozen collections of poetry in her native country, and her work has been translated into French, Lithuanian, German, Russian, Serbian, Hungarian, and Italian. The recipient of numerous awards for her work, she is also a well-known translator of English and French poetry into Polish. Bogdana Carpenter
is Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. She is the author of The Poetic Avant-Garde in Poland, 1918–1939,
and Monumenta Polonica: The First Four Centuries of Polish Poetry,
as well as other works.
is a poet and literary critic. He is author of Creating the World
and a study of the literature of the Second World War. Among translations the Carpenters have done as a team are seven volumes of poetry and prose by Zbigniew Herbert.