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TRANSLATIONS

 

Pocket Apocalypse

Pocket Apocalypse
Southword Editions, 2005.
Poems by Katarzyna Borun-Jagodzinska. Translated from Polish by Gerry Murphy.

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Here is a Polish poet working well beyond the shadows of Milosz and Herbert. She searches out material in the sacred and the profane and mines both with considerable skill. A generous streak of dark wit is evident even in the least likely of places. After all, anyone who edited a magazine entitled "Temperance and Hard Work" has to have a healthy sense of the absurd. --Gerry Murphy

 

What the critics have said:

"Borun-Jagodzinska, ably translated with a light touch by Gerry Murphy, has followed Piotr Sommer out of the intensive lyricism and complex Imagism traditional to Polish poetry into the pared-back, post-American style." -The Irish Times

 

Selected Poems from Pocket Apocalypse

 

Untitled

(for A.B.)

 

In catastrophes

our letters are lost,

as if the postman

could save us…

 

In a dark room

tenderness yellows with age –

the very letters you carried out

of the burning refinery.

 

__________

 

Othello’s First Book

 

Which came first?

The bitter seed or the shadowy tree?

Bitterness can prepare the way for sweetness,

though the tart seed permeates the apple.

A green-eyed monster already awake,

a worm turning just under the skin.

Love creeps past on tiptoes

so as not to arouse the beast.

 

 

__________

 

Gothic Tale

 

So quiet here at dawn,

no one remembers

the squinting window

in the clock face.

So quiet,

even though the clock’s

relentless hands

decapitate

over-ardent lovers

and the trees creak

under the increasing weight

of the sky.

Copyright ©2005 Katarzyna Borun Jagodzinska

English translation Copyright ©2005 Gerry Murphy

 

 

 

Katazyna Borun-Jagodzinska

 

Katarzyna Borun-Jagodzinska, was born in 1956 in Warsaw, and did not, despite considerable efforts, study at the Academy of Fine Art or the History of Art Department of the University of Warsaw. Instead she attended seminars at the Lodz Film School and in 1989 was a participant of the International Writing Program of Iowa University. Her collections include Wyciszemia (Quietenings, 1997), Moly Happening (A Minor Happening, 1979), Zycie Codzienne w Panstwie Srodka (Daily Life in the Middle Kingdom, 1983) and WiecefWiersze o Zmroku (More – Poems at Twilight, 1991). Borun has worked as a messenger, small ads clerks and eventually became an editor on the monthly Temperance and Hard Work.

 

 

Gerry Murphy

 

Gerry Murphy was born in Cork in 1952. His poetry collections include A Small Fat Boy Walking Backwards (1985, 1992) and Rio de la Plata and All That (1993). He has also published two pamphlets – A Cartoon History of the Spanish Civil War (1991) and Dead Cat in Winthrop Street (1994). The Empty Quarter was published in 1995 followed by Extracts from a Lost Log Book of Christopher Columbus (1999) and Torso of an Ex-Girlfriend in 2002. His work has also appeared in a variety of anthologies and journals. His New and Selected was published by Dedalus in 2006. He lives in Cork City.

 

 

 

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