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25 Remote Warehouse Anthologies- Miscellaneous International Poetry
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This title in other editions

Eternal Enemies: Poems

by

Eternal Enemies: Poems Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The highway became the Red Sea.

We moved through the storm like a sheer valley.

You drove; I looked at you with love.

--from Storm

One of the most gifted and readable poets of his time, Adam Zagajewski is proving to be a contemporary classic. Few writers in either poetry or prose can be said to have attained the lucid intelligence and limpid economy of style that have become a matter of course with Zagajewski. It is these qualities, combined with his wry humor, gentle skepticism, and perpetual sense of history's dark possibilities, that have earned him a devoted international following. This collection, gracefully translated by Clare Cavanagh, finds the poet reflecting on place, language, and history. Especially moving here are his tributes to writers, friends known in person or in books--people such as Milosz and Sebald, Brodsky and Blake--which intermingle naturally with portraits of family members and loved ones. Eternal Enemies is a luminous meeting of art and everyday life. Adam Zagajewski was born in Lvov, Poland, in 1945. His previous books include Tremor, Canvas, Mysticism for Beginners, Without End, Two Cities, Another Beauty, and A Defense of Ardor. He lives in Kracow, Paris, and Chicago.

Clare Cavanagh is a professor of Slavic languages and literatures at Northwestern University. She has translated numerous volumes of Polish poetry and prose, including the work of Wislawa Szymborska. One of the most gifted poets of our time, Adam Zagajewski is a contemporary classic. Few writers in either poetry or prose can be said to have attained the lucid intelligence and limped economy of style that are the trademarks of his work. It is these qualities, combined with his wry humor, gentle skepticism, and perpetual sense of history's dark possibilities, that have earned him a devoted international following. This collection, gracefully translated by Clare Cavanagh, finds the poet reflecting on place, language, and history. Especially moving are his tributes to writers, friends known in person or from books--people such as Milosz and Sebald, Brodsky and Blake. These poems intermingle naturally with portraits of family members and loved ones. Eternal Enemies is a luminous meeting of art and everyday life. Not so long ago we had two incredible voices--Neruda and Milosz. Now we have Adam Zagajewski, who also speaks passionately from both the historical and the personal perspective, in poems reduced to a clean, lyrical clarity. In one poet's opinion (mine), he is now our greatest and truest representative, the most pertinent, impressive, meaningful poet of our time.--Mary Oliver Not so long ago we had two incredible voices--Neruda and Milosz. Now we have Adam Zagajewski, who also speaks passionately from both the historical and the personal perspective, in poems reduced to a clean, lyrical clarity. In one poet's opinion (mine), he is now our greatest and truest representative, the most pertinent, impressive, meaningful poet of our time.--Mary Oliver

Zagajewski's poems are visually rich and] startlingly fresh . . . Poetry and thinking for Zagajewski have to do with learning how to see clearly. His poems celebrate those rare moments when we catch a glimpse of a world from which all labels have been unpeeled . . . Indispensable.--Charles Simic, The New York Review of Books

Zagajewski's poems pull us from whatever routine threatens to dull our senses, from whatever might lull us into mere existence.--Philip Boehm, The New York Times Book Review

Eternal Enemies is Zagajewski's fifth book of poetry in English. It is also his most cohesive and moving to date, in no small part because it transcends the categories most frequently imposed on Polish poets by Anglophone readers. The forceful engagement with historical questions that initially attracted British and American readers to Polish poetry is present here, certainly, but the work is also irreducible to vaguely familiar events or the beatitudes about suffering and tragedy often cherished by those who have not lived through them. Rather, Zagajewski is a refreshingly incurable nostalgist: wherever he is, he cannot extract himself from distant places and people, nor can he ignore a past that is no less palpable for having been conceived in reverie. This has always been true of Zagajewski's work, and it is difficult to imagine how it could have been otherwise. Soon after he was born, in war-torn Lvov in 1945, his native city was ceded to Soviet Ukraine. Like Herbert, also from Lvov, Zagajewski discovered the unfortunate possibility of living in exile within one's native land. The same longing he expressed in the question 'why must every city/become Jerusalem and every man a Jew'--from 'To Go to Lvov, ' a classic early poem--becomes a declaration of the poet's own changes in 'Star.'--Benjamin Paloff, The Nation

As his reader might expect, Eternal Enemies contains poems capturing evanescent moments of being deftly and economically rendered, several astute travel poems, moving evocations of Krakow, and some sensitively recorded responses to art and those who make it. For example, there is a penetrating portrait of Joseph Brodsky titled 'Subject: Brodsky, ' the subject one that Zagajewski has treated before. But the presentation here is original, cast somewhat in the official mode of a KGB report, one that gradually softens into eulogy and concludes with an evocation of '. . . something like tenderness, / the almost timid smile, / the momentary doubt, the hesitation, / the tiny pause in flawless arguments.' The American scene rarely and only fleetingly entered Zagajewski's viewfinder in earlier collections, but it does so now in the poem 'Traveling by Train Along the Hudson, ' and it slips in several other poems as well, including the volume's final poem, 'Antennas in the Rain.' This test is something of an experiment, composed of disjunctive statements or sentence fragments in a calculatedly random order, each separated from the next by double spacing. The fragments are of every sort: flashes of perception, literary quotations, daily plans, memories, art works, comic queries, philosophical speculations, commands addressed to an undesignated listener who may be the reader or the author--all told, what the French call a coq a l'ane, a sundry, a catalogue assembled with rhyme or reason. The result, though, tends to constitute a sketched resume of the author's practical, mental, and spiritual life, the ordinary hard by the exalted, amusing trivia followed by existential crossroads . . . Eternal Enemies] even so has a rough authenticity giving us the sense that Zagajewski hasn't stopped questing, that he will continue to add strings to his bow as he moves into the late phase of his career, one aspect of which is involved in extending the amicable rapport between Poland and the United States.--Alfred Corn, The Hudson Review

Mr. Zagajewski, who was born in Poland in 1945, is one of the few foreign-language poets to be regularly translated into English. He is often mentioned in the same breath as Czeslaw Milosz, in part simply because he is the most famous Polish poet of the generation after Milosz's. Mr. Zagajewski is writing Milosz's biography, and it would be surprising if he didn't eventually follow his subject to Stockholm. But there is also a deeper similarity, since the two poets, products of the same Polish experience, share a basic theme: the dilemma of the spirit trapped in history, of freedom constrained by necessity. These are two ways of naming the opponents invoked in the title of Eternal Enemies, Mr. Zagajewski's fifth collection of poems to appear in English (translated by Clare Cavanagh). For Milosz, who survived the Nazi occupation of Warsaw and defected from Poland's Communist regime, spirit and history were mortal foes, locked in a permanent death grip. For Mr. Zagajewski, who belongs to the generation of Solidarity and of the Velvet Revolutions, their enmity is less acute, more a chronic condition to be lived with. In his poems, the ordinary world is always quivering at the brink of, but never quite yielding to, ecstasy . . . Forced to emigrate from Poland in the 1970s, Mr. Zagajewski lived for many years in France and America. He has now returned to Krakow, the city of his youth; but the habit of wandering remains, and Eternal Enemies alternates views of his childhood streets with a traveler's snapshots . . . Yet most of the traveling in Eternal Enemies is done under rather plusher circumstances than this suggests, and there is a certain danger--as we follow the poet from 'Sicily' to 'Rome, Open City' to 'Camogli' and 'Staglieno'--that Mr. Zagajewski's voyaging will turn into a higher tourism, yielding a succession of interchangeable epiphanies. 'What happened to summer's plans / and our dreams, / what has our youth become, ' he asks in 'Camogli.' This kind of undefended, melancholy lyricism has always been one of the distinctive notes of Mr. Zagajewski's verse. It makes one think of songs by Schumann, more than anything in English poetry, and in fact Mr. Zagajewski often invokes music to achieve his effects . . . In 'Long Street, ' he employs his gift for surprising, witty metaphors to describe a remembered Krakow street: 'a street of dwarves and giants, creaking bikes, / a street of small towns clustered / in one room, napping after lunch, / heads dropped on a soiled tablecloth . . .' The drama of homecoming, after a lifetime filled with so much experience and reflection, is very moving, and gives Eternal Enemies its beautifully autumnal quality.--Adam Kirsch, The New York Sun

To open Adam Zagajewski's new book Eternal Enemies is to find oneself in motion. 'To travel without baggage, sleep in the train / on a hard wooden bench, / forget your native land, ' begins 'En Route.' A few pages later the narrator wonders whether it was 'worth waiting in consula

Synopsis:

The highway became the Red Sea.

We moved through the storm like a sheer valley.

You drove; I looked at you with love.

—from “Storm”

One of the most gifted and readable poets of his time, Adam Zagajewski is proving to be a contemporary classic. Few writers in either poetry or prose can be said to have attained the lucid intelligence and limpid economy of style that have become a matter of course with Zagajewski. It is these qualities, combined with his wry humor, gentle skepticism, and perpetual sense of historys dark possibilities, that have earned him a devoted international following. This collection, gracefully translated by Clare Cavanagh, finds the poet reflecting on place, language, and history. Especially moving here are his tributes to writers, friends known in person or in books—people such as Milosz and Sebald, Brodsky and Blake—which intermingle naturally with portraits of family members and loved ones. Eternal Enemies is a luminous meeting of art and everyday life.

Adam Zagajewski was born in Lvov, Poland, in 1945. His previous books include Tremor, Canvas, Mysticism for Beginners, Without End, Two Cities, Another Beauty, and A Defense of Ardor. He lives in Kraców, Paris, and Chicago.

Clare Cavanagh is a professor of Slavic languages and literatures at Northwestern University. She has translated numerous volumes of Polish poetry and prose, including the work of Wislawa Szymborska.

One of the most gifted poets of our time, Adam Zagajewski is a contemporary classic. Few writers in either poetry or prose can be said to have attained the lucid intelligence and limped economy of style that are the trademarks of his work. It is these qualities, combined with his wry humor, gentle skepticism, and perpetual sense of history's dark possibilities, that have earned him a devoted international following. This collection, gracefully translated by Clare Cavanagh, finds the poet reflecting on place, language, and history. Especially moving are his tributes to writers, friends known in person or from books—people such as Milosz and Sebald, Brodsky and Blake. These poems intermingle naturally with portraits of family members and loved ones. Eternal Enemies is a luminous meeting of art and everyday life.
"Not so long ago we had two incredible voices—Neruda and Milosz. Now we have Adam Zagajewski, who also speaks passionately from both the historical and the personal perspective, in poems reduced to a clean, lyrical clarity. In one poet's opinion (mine), he is now our greatest and truest representative, the most pertinent, impressive, meaningful poet of our time."—Mary Oliver
"Not so long ago we had two incredible voices—Neruda and Milosz. Now we have Adam Zagajewski, who also speaks passionately from both the historical and the personal perspective, in poems reduced to a clean, lyrical clarity. In one poet's opinion (mine), he is now our greatest and truest representative, the most pertinent, impressive, meaningful poet of our time."—Mary Oliver

"Zagajewski's poems are visually rich [and] startlingly fresh . . . Poetry and thinking for Zagajewski have to do with learning how to see clearly. His poems celebrate those rare moments when we catch a glimpse of a world from which all labels have been unpeeled . . . Indispensable."—Charles Simic, The New York Review of Books

"Zagajewski's poems pull us from whatever routine threatens to dull our senses, from whatever might lull us into mere existence."—Philip Boehm, The New York Times Book Review

"Eternal Enemies is Zagajewski's fifth book of poetry in English. It is also his most cohesive and moving to date, in no small part because it transcends the categories most frequently imposed on Polish poets by Anglophone readers. The forceful engagement with historical questions that initially attracted British and American readers to Polish poetry is present here, certainly, but the work is also irreducible to vaguely familiar events or the beatitudes about suffering and tragedy often cherished by those who have not lived through them. Rather, Zagajewski is a refreshingly incurable nostalgist: wherever he is, he cannot extract himself from distant places and people, nor can he ignore a past that is no less palpable for having been conceived in reverie. This has always been true of Zagajewski's work, and it is difficult to imagine how it could have been otherwise. Soon after he was born, in war-torn Lvov in 1945, his native city was ceded to Soviet Ukraine. Like Herbert, also from Lvov, Zagajewski discovered the unfortunate possibility of living in exile within one's native land. The same longing he expressed in the question 'why must every city/become Jerusalem and every man a Jew'—from 'To Go to Lvov,' a classic early poem—becomes a declaration of the poet's own changes in 'Star.'"—Benjamin Paloff, The Nation

"As his reader might expect, Eternal Enemies contains poems capturing evanescent moments of being deftly and economically rendered, several astute travel poems, moving evocations of Krakow, and some sensitively recorded responses to art and those who make it. For example, there is a penetrating portrait of Joseph Brodsky titled '

Synopsis:

The highway became the Red Sea.

We moved through the storm like a sheer valley.

You drove; I looked at you with love.

--from "Storm"

One of the most gifted and readable poets of his time, Adam Zagajewski is proving to be a contemporary classic. Few writers in either poetry or prose can be said to have attained the lucid intelligence and limpid economy of style that have become a matter of course with Zagajewski. It is these qualities, combined with his wry humor, gentle skepticism, and perpetual sense of history's dark possibilities, that have earned him a devoted international following. This collection, gracefully translated by Clare Cavanagh, finds the poet reflecting on place, language, and history. Especially moving here are his tributes to writers, friends known in person or in books--people such as Milosz and Sebald, Brodsky and Blake--which intermingle naturally with portraits of family members and loved ones. Eternal Enemies is a luminous meeting of art and everyday life.

About the Author

Adam Zagajewski was born in Lvov in 1945. His previous books include Tremor; Canvas; Mysticism for Beginners; Without End; Solidarity, Solitude; Two Cities; Another Beauty; and A Defense of Ardor--all published by FSG. He lives in Paris and Houston.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374531607
Author:
Zagajewski, Adam
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Translator:
Cavanagh, Clare
Author:
Cavanagh, Clare
Subject:
Continental european
Subject:
General Poetry
Subject:
Anthologies-Miscellaneous International Poetry
Subject:
Single Author - Continental European
Subject:
Subjects & Themes / Family
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20090331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
128
Dimensions:
8.27 x 5.49 x 0.375 in

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Product details 128 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374531607 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
The highway became the Red Sea.

We moved through the storm like a sheer valley.

You drove; I looked at you with love.

—from “Storm”

One of the most gifted and readable poets of his time, Adam Zagajewski is proving to be a contemporary classic. Few writers in either poetry or prose can be said to have attained the lucid intelligence and limpid economy of style that have become a matter of course with Zagajewski. It is these qualities, combined with his wry humor, gentle skepticism, and perpetual sense of historys dark possibilities, that have earned him a devoted international following. This collection, gracefully translated by Clare Cavanagh, finds the poet reflecting on place, language, and history. Especially moving here are his tributes to writers, friends known in person or in books—people such as Milosz and Sebald, Brodsky and Blake—which intermingle naturally with portraits of family members and loved ones. Eternal Enemies is a luminous meeting of art and everyday life.

Adam Zagajewski was born in Lvov, Poland, in 1945. His previous books include Tremor, Canvas, Mysticism for Beginners, Without End, Two Cities, Another Beauty, and A Defense of Ardor. He lives in Kraców, Paris, and Chicago.

Clare Cavanagh is a professor of Slavic languages and literatures at Northwestern University. She has translated numerous volumes of Polish poetry and prose, including the work of Wislawa Szymborska.

One of the most gifted poets of our time, Adam Zagajewski is a contemporary classic. Few writers in either poetry or prose can be said to have attained the lucid intelligence and limped economy of style that are the trademarks of his work. It is these qualities, combined with his wry humor, gentle skepticism, and perpetual sense of history's dark possibilities, that have earned him a devoted international following. This collection, gracefully translated by Clare Cavanagh, finds the poet reflecting on place, language, and history. Especially moving are his tributes to writers, friends known in person or from books—people such as Milosz and Sebald, Brodsky and Blake. These poems intermingle naturally with portraits of family members and loved ones. Eternal Enemies is a luminous meeting of art and everyday life.
"Not so long ago we had two incredible voices—Neruda and Milosz. Now we have Adam Zagajewski, who also speaks passionately from both the historical and the personal perspective, in poems reduced to a clean, lyrical clarity. In one poet's opinion (mine), he is now our greatest and truest representative, the most pertinent, impressive, meaningful poet of our time."—Mary Oliver
"Not so long ago we had two incredible voices—Neruda and Milosz. Now we have Adam Zagajewski, who also speaks passionately from both the historical and the personal perspective, in poems reduced to a clean, lyrical clarity. In one poet's opinion (mine), he is now our greatest and truest representative, the most pertinent, impressive, meaningful poet of our time."—Mary Oliver

"Zagajewski's poems are visually rich [and] startlingly fresh . . . Poetry and thinking for Zagajewski have to do with learning how to see clearly. His poems celebrate those rare moments when we catch a glimpse of a world from which all labels have been unpeeled . . . Indispensable."—Charles Simic, The New York Review of Books

"Zagajewski's poems pull us from whatever routine threatens to dull our senses, from whatever might lull us into mere existence."—Philip Boehm, The New York Times Book Review

"Eternal Enemies is Zagajewski's fifth book of poetry in English. It is also his most cohesive and moving to date, in no small part because it transcends the categories most frequently imposed on Polish poets by Anglophone readers. The forceful engagement with historical questions that initially attracted British and American readers to Polish poetry is present here, certainly, but the work is also irreducible to vaguely familiar events or the beatitudes about suffering and tragedy often cherished by those who have not lived through them. Rather, Zagajewski is a refreshingly incurable nostalgist: wherever he is, he cannot extract himself from distant places and people, nor can he ignore a past that is no less palpable for having been conceived in reverie. This has always been true of Zagajewski's work, and it is difficult to imagine how it could have been otherwise. Soon after he was born, in war-torn Lvov in 1945, his native city was ceded to Soviet Ukraine. Like Herbert, also from Lvov, Zagajewski discovered the unfortunate possibility of living in exile within one's native land. The same longing he expressed in the question 'why must every city/become Jerusalem and every man a Jew'—from 'To Go to Lvov,' a classic early poem—becomes a declaration of the poet's own changes in 'Star.'"—Benjamin Paloff, The Nation

"As his reader might expect, Eternal Enemies contains poems capturing evanescent moments of being deftly and economically rendered, several astute travel poems, moving evocations of Krakow, and some sensitively recorded responses to art and those who make it. For example, there is a penetrating portrait of Joseph Brodsky titled '

"Synopsis" by ,
The highway became the Red Sea.

We moved through the storm like a sheer valley.

You drove; I looked at you with love.

--from "Storm"

One of the most gifted and readable poets of his time, Adam Zagajewski is proving to be a contemporary classic. Few writers in either poetry or prose can be said to have attained the lucid intelligence and limpid economy of style that have become a matter of course with Zagajewski. It is these qualities, combined with his wry humor, gentle skepticism, and perpetual sense of history's dark possibilities, that have earned him a devoted international following. This collection, gracefully translated by Clare Cavanagh, finds the poet reflecting on place, language, and history. Especially moving here are his tributes to writers, friends known in person or in books--people such as Milosz and Sebald, Brodsky and Blake--which intermingle naturally with portraits of family members and loved ones. Eternal Enemies is a luminous meeting of art and everyday life.

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