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Poetry Readings: For you Europe


Poetry Readings: Yet we desire it above all
Julia Hartwig Poet
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Here's one more poem on this subject. It's called Yet we desire it above all.


Freedom does not mean happiness right away

the free world hides more traps than tyranny

mastiffs let loose from chains passions exceeding the horizon

steps entangled in the ropes of old bonds

that try to pull tight again


Freedom both for scoundrels and those

who sacrificed themselves for it

freedom for those who feel as pure as a diamond

and want to cut deeply surrendering passionately

to a new slavery – of hatred

from which the earth cracks like under dynamite

changing the course of rivers


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

Jeszcze jeden taki wiersz, właściwie z tematem. Tytuł jest A jednak pragniemy jej ponad wszystko.


Wolność to nie znaczy że będziesz zaraz szczęśliwy

Wolny świat kryje w sobie więcej zasadzek niż głucha tyrania

Brytany spuszczone z łańcucha żądze przekraczające horyzont

krok jeszcze splątany w liny starych więzów

które próbują zacisnąć się znowu


Wolność zarówno dla podłych jak i dla tych

którzy ofiarowali jej siebie w darze

wolność dla tych którzy czując się jak diament czyści

chcieliby kroić ostro oddając się namiętnie

w nową niewolę – nienawiści od której ziemia jak pod dynamitem

rozpęka się zmieniając bieg rzek

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: Yet we desire it above all

Duration: 1 minute

Date story recorded: June 2010

Date story went live: 15 June 2011