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Poetry Readings: It is also this


Poetry Readings: Philemon and Baucis
Julia Hartwig Poet
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Przeczytam poematy prozą, które zostały zresztą zebrane w specjalnym tomie Zebranych poematów prozą. Pierwszy z nich przeczytam od razu:


Filemon i Baucis.


          Jedno wstaje w nocy. W koszuli nocnej człapie po wodę do kuchni, po omacku. Drugie nasłuchuje.

          Denerwuje go [to] człapanie, jest rozbudzony, rozdrażniony, mruczy coś niecierpliwie.

          Ale nagle zjeża mu się włos.

          Czy to człapanie jest prawdziwe, czy już tylko we wspomnieniu, w przeszłości, w nieistnieniu?

          Jest naprawdę! [sic] Człapie naprawdę, więc wciąż jeszcze są razem.

          Wdzięczny i pogodzony zapada znowu w swój wątły sen.


To był wiersz Przybylskiego ulubiony także.

I'll read some prose poems which have been collected in a special volume, Collected Prose Poems. I'll read the first one straight away,


Philemon and Baucis.


            One of them gets up at night. In a nightshirt she shuffles blindly to the

kitchen to get some water. The other listens.

            This shuffling bothers him, he is awake, irritated, he mutters im-


            Suddenly his hair stands on end.

            Is this shuffling real, or is it only a memory, in the past, in non-


            It is real! She really shuffles. So, they are still together.

            Grateful and reconciled, he falls back into his fragile sleep.


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


This was Przybylski's favourite, too.

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: Philemon and Baucis, Collected Prose Poems, Ryszard Przybylski

Duration: 1 minute, 5 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2010

Date story went live: 15 June 2011