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Poetry Readings: On the Road


Poetry Readings: A Procession
Julia Hartwig Poet
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The dark forest of Dante

the forests of Shakespeare

are more true than the shadows of recollection


We glide

like sacrificial bulls with gilded horns

all our effort put into building the conviction

we won’t surrender to sheer force


Blizzard hunger and exile

roll over us in a powerful wave

from underneath we emerge still alive

and see an unfinished landscape


The only deliverance is in keeping the rhythm

a vision of a harmony

that takes us like children into an embrace

innocent mother of consolation


Taken from 'In Praise of the Unfinished: Selected Poems' (2008) translated, from the Polish, by John and Bogdana Carpenter.

W Pochodzie  


Ciemny las Dantego

lasy Szekspira

prawdziwsze niż cienie wspomnień


jak ofiarne woły z pozłacanymi rogami

całą siłę wkładając w budowanie wiary

że nie ulegniemy przemocy


Zamieć głód i wygnania

przetaczają się przez nas jak potężna fala

spod której wyłaniamy się nadal żywi

by oglądać krajobraz niespełnienia


Jedyny ratunek to utrzymanie rytmu

wizja harmonii

która bierze nas jak dzieci w swoje objęcia

niewinna matka pociechy

Born to a Polish father and a Russian mother, Julia Hartwig (1921-2017) was a Polish poet, essayist, translator and author of children's books. She studied at the University of Warsaw, the Catholic University in Lublin and the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. Czesław Miłosz called her 'the grande dame of Polish poetry'. Julia Hartwig was one of the few poets in Poland who made masterly use of poetic prose. She translated poems by Apollinaire, Rimbaud, Max Jacob, Cendrars and Supervielle, and published monographs on Apollinaire and Gerard de Nerval. She also translated from English, and published a large anthology of American poetry which she co-edited in 1992 with her late husband, the poet Artur Międzyrzecki.

Listeners: Andrzej Wolski

Film director and documentary maker, Andrzej Wolski has made around 40 films since 1982 for French television, the BBC, TVP and other TV networks. He specializes in portraits and in historical films. Films that he has directed or written the screenplay for include Kultura, which he co-directed with Agnieszka Holland, and KOR which presents the history of the Worker’s Defence Committee as told by its members. Andrzej Wolski has received many awards for his work, including the UNESCO Grand Prix at the Festival du Film d’Art.

Tags: A Procession, Dante Alighieri, William Shakespeare

Duration: 49 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2010

Date story went live: 15 June 2011