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Poetry in Motion--Skeel

One of the most exciting contemporary poets is the Polish poet Adam Zagajewski. I review "Eternal Enemies," his new book of poems, here. But don't take my word for it. Next time you're in a bookstore, skim through a few of the poems in "Eternal Enemies." Even if you've vowed never to read a book of poems, he may be the kind of poet who will make you change your mind, or at least make a small exception to the vow.

Here's the first poem, "Star" (set in Krakow, where Zagajewski lived during his college years), which establishes the tone of the book:


I returned to you years later,
gray and lovely city,
unchanging city
buried in the waters of the past.

I'm no longer the student
of philosophy, poetry, and curiosity,
I'm not the young poet who wrote
too many lines

and wandered in the maze
of narrow streets and illusions.
The sovereign of clocks and shadows has touched my brow with his hand,

but still I'm guided by
a star by brightness
and only brightness
can undo or save me.


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Comments ( 2 )

Nice poem. I see why you like this poet, very clear and still. My first book of poems (Cracked) will be out in January and I have started on my second project. It seems the lines have gotten longer, but hopefully the sentiment is more precise.

This poem is beautiful and full of meaning. I plan to use this for our Christmas devotions with the family. We'll see how they respond. Keep this type of literature before us. GMcFarland