Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sunday Sabbath Poetry: Adam Zagajewski

Adam Zagajewski is a distinguished 65-year old Polish poet, influenced by and appreciative of the great Czeslaw Milosz. The poem below is from his 2008 collection Eternal Enemies, translated by Clare Cavanagh; and in its careful simplicity -- like so much of Zagajewski's work -- it contains and effects what it seeks to describe.

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In a Strange City

By Adam Zagajewski

The faint, almost fantastic
scent of the Mediterranean,
crowds on streets at midnight,
a festival begins,
we don't know which.
A scrawny cat slips
past our knees,
gypsies eat supper
as if singing;
white houses beyond them,
an unknown tongue.

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