I Wrote Stone: The Selected Poetry of Ryszard Kapuscinski (Biblioasis International Translation Series)
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The best of Kapuscinski's published poems, offered for the first time in English.
happening when words strike against themselves and new meanings arise— meanings thanks to which the world has a more comprehensive form, both visible and invisible.”* The significance of poetic discourse, for the writer, is evident in Kapuściński’s grand reportage. He declares in the second volume of his Lapidarium, a collage of notes and citations written in 1972 and between 1980 and 2006: “I cannot forsake poetry. It requires that one attend profoundly to language, which is good for prose.
the strength to carry anyone, I cannot do as St. Christopher, I’m not able to bear you across the river. All in me that had to do with the other refused my bidding. 28 Cudgel in memoriam to J.P. 1 . . . when contriving methods of killing various techniques are considered 2 yet one always comes back to the simplest (to the dismay of technocrats convinced only their goddesses exist) a cudgel will do— a gnarled branch 3 tree: potential armoury for instruments of torture and murder 4 and we
you must be here but be otherwise you must learn what is singularity and that it be not arrogance but strength Person 2: You must and you must like the whistle of a lash 32 The Poet Arnold Słucki on New World Street Before leaving for Jerusalem he would stroll down New World Street he would look without seeing anyone an old coat without a single button his forehead always sweated his pockets full of poems He took out one after the other In the doorway touching my arm he asked
invisible, dark they strain to push aside grains of sand stones, rock to push through lava and mineral cast up to the surface idle they wither their knotted fingers stretched to the heavens their prayer confused and untranslatable the knowledge of roots: life comes from penetrating depth 66 Rosary of wood of bone of glass ten after ten strung knotted lathed particles with which you lay the road to heaven 67 Suffering and Guilt Only those clad in sackcloth are able to take upon themselves
watch as it matures as it climbs upward as it grows into the tree of good and evil into a strong cedar that Lebanese lumberjacks fell and the Old Carpenter crafts into a stout, evenly hewn beam that you will carry ever after in your eye though you do not notice it 81 A Soldier, 1975 On a plane to Luanda a young soldier lies on a stretcher that morning a bullet shattered his skull an IV hangs from a hook the man tosses he’s delirious perhaps he’s relating what happened we never found out where