Posts tagged Anna Kamieńska.

April 12 - Anna Kamieńska

Bio: Anna Kamieńska was born in 1920 in Krasnystaw, eastern Poland. Kamieńska was a poet, translator, critic, essayist, and editor. She wrote twenty books of poetry, two volumes of Notebooks, a short-hand record of her readings and self-questioning, two volumes of commentaries on the Bible, along with translations from several Slavic languages, Hebrew, Latin and French. The Bloomsbury Review wrote in reference to her poetry collection Astonishments that “her poems reflect a constant struggle between the human world and higher spiritual planes, a conflict that arose from growing up during Nazi occupation of Poland and living under communism.”

Anecdotes:

  • Kamieńska apparently started writing poetry at the age of 14.
  • Kamieńska said “I write in order to comprehend, not to express myself.”
  • Kamieńska’s husband, the poet Jan Śpiewak, suddenly died of cancer in 1967. Kamieńska turned to the Christian faith, which deeply influenced her later works.
  • Kamieńska described Janusz Korczak, Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer and Simone Weil as her “saints and witnesses”.

Final sentences:

I came back I say
though I thought there was no return

from “A Talk With Mother

A melancholy of my own like the face
undeserved
impossible to tear off

from ”Melancholy

Some deaths are polite and quiet
as if somebody gave up his place
in a crowded tram

from “In a Hospital

This hour too will be more lovely in recollection.

from “The Time of Passing and the Time of Poems is Passing

Sources: 1, 2, Astonishments: Selected Poems of Anna Kamieńska, edited and translated by Grażyna Drabik and David Curzon (Paraclete Press, 2007)


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Some deaths are polite and quiet
as if somebody gave up his place
in a crowded tram


    — Anna Kamieńska, from “In a Hospital”, translated by Grażyna Drabik and David Curzon

Posted by growing-orbits
  










This hour too will be more lovely in recollection.


    — Anna Kamieńska, from “The Time of Passing and the Time of Poems is Passing”, trans. Grażyna Drabik and David Curzon

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[There, in a hospital, my mother is dying.]
My mama.


    — Anna Kamieńska, from “The Mouths of Streets”, translated by G. Drabik and D. Curzon

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I came back I say
though I thought there was no return


    — Anna Kamieńska, from “A Talk with Mother”, translated by G. Drabik and D. Curzon

Posted by growing-orbits
  










A melancholy of my own like the face
undeserved
impossible to tear off


    — Anna Kamieńska, from “Melancholy”, translated by G. Drabik and D. Curzon

Posted by growing-orbits