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Poetry Readings: Sharks


Poetry Readings: He doesn't know
Julia Hartwig Poet
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Siadywał zwykle w rogu pokoju i wydawał dyspozycje:

– To zrobić tak, a tamto inaczej.

I pochwalał albo ganił:

– Mogłoby być lepiej.

Teraz milczy,

Nie wie. Po prostu nie wie.

Jak to się stało, że tak nagle zwątpił w swoją pewność?

He would sit in the corner of the room, and give orders:

– Do this, do that, this way, that way.

He praised or blamed:

– It could be done better.

Now he is silent.

He doesn't know. He simply doesn't know.

How did it happen his certainty so suddenly turned into doubt?


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

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: He doesn't know

Duration: 24 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2010

Date story went live: 15 June 2011