Jacket 31 — October 2006        link Jacket 31 Contents page        link Jacket Homepage

Grzegorz Wróblewski

Grzegorz Wróblewski: Two poems

A Summation Scheme (About the Illness of John T.)

Black Head

A Summation Scheme (About the Illness of John T.)

A general state of consciousness?
In the tenement house live a pimp and a carpet-seller.
Neither of them can stand Dante.
Because
they have never set their eyes on him.
Because we’re flooded by light literature and life
is devoid of a single shred of comedy.
A mannerism of thought is out of the question here.

It’s rather the style of the punchline or a classicaly degenerate speech.
Secular, prehistoric content.
But… no!
The pimp has heard something about Virgil.
Because it had something to do with the stealing of old prints.
He might have meant Caligula’s white stallion.
Why is there so much bitterness in me?
And it would be like that everywhere:

Even
if somebody mastered the whole of Cervantes,
it would never occur to him
to devote himself to the study of Diderot or, say,
Panfilo Sasso’s summation scheme.


(Translated from the Polish by Adam Zdrodowski)



Black Head

1.
Ghosts are unhappy at our place. Together with a mad family of cats, we look
at the snow-covered Black Head. “Don’t you think that Black Head
is heading in our direction?”

2.
Calm down, it’s just a mountain.
Mountains don’t move yet. And even if they do…
(Then we’re dead.)

3.
Will the cats manage to hide?
Yes, cats have their mysterious tunnels (cats and June bugs.)
Something must have provoked her!

4.
Was it the skyscrapers? Then you should quickly believe in your reality…
You’re an accidental being,
just like me.


(Translated from the Polish by Adam Zdrodowski)

Grzegorz Wróblewski

Grzegorz Wróblewski

Grzegorz Wróblewski was born in 1962 in Gdansk and grew up in Warsaw, Poland. Since 1985 lives in Copenhagen. He has published seven volumes of poetry and a collection of short prose pieces in Poland, two books of poetry, a book of poetic prose and an experimental novel (translations) in Denmark, and selected poems in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Mostar 2002). He has also published a selection of plays. His work has been translated into five languages. English translations of his poems have appeared in London Magazine, Poetry London, Jacket Magazine, Magma Poetry, Parameter Magazine, Chicago Review, 3rd bed, Eclectica, Mississippi Review, and in anthologies: Altered State: The New Polish Poetry (Arc Publications, Todmorden, UK 2003), Carnivorous Boy Carnivorous Bird (Zephyr Press, Brookline, USA 2004).

Adam Zdrodowski

Adam Zdrodowski

Adam Zdrodowski, born in 1979, poet and translator, is preparing his PhD on Elizabeth Bishop. His translations include Lifting Belly by Gertrude Stein, poems by Mark Ford and some works by William S. Burroughs. His poems have appeared in: Odra, Dwukropek and Dziennik portowy. His first collection of poems is entitled Przygody, etc. [Adventures, etc.] and has been published in Wrocław (2005). He lives in Warsaw.