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Excerpts from Exile

Untitled (Once Upon a Time) © Monika Sosnowski

Here’s a poem by Adam Zagajewski from Mysticism for Beginners:



I haven’t written a single poem
in months.
I’ve lived humbly, reading the paper,
pondering the riddle of power
and the reasons for obedience.
I’ve watched sunsets
(crimson, anxious),
I’ve heard the birds grow quiet
and night’s muteness.
I’ve seen sunflowers dangling
their heads at dusk, as if a careless hangman
had gone strolling through the gardens.
September’s sweet dust gathered
on the windowsill and lizards
hid in the bends of walls.
I’ve taken long walks,
craving one thing only:

(translated from Polish by Clare Cavanagh and published in: Adam Zagajewski – Without End – New and Selected Poems, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux 2002)

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