Perusing Polish Poetry

A storm - but not in the hills
I haven't been spending much time on poetry outside of my university course in the past few months. Two days ago, however, I was searching articles on jstor, for my essay, when a title jumped out at me. It was about a poet named Henrikas Radauskas. I had never heard of him, so did a quick research. And quick it was - there isn't that much information about him in English, apart from the usual stuff about personal life, and books published.

Henrikas Radauskas was born in Poland, but his family moved back to Lithuania after WWI.
I found a web page with some of his poems translated into English. I read a few of them, and straight away felt an interest. It's rather strange, the way the poetry journey goes sometimes. I've often had trouble with English poets, trying to become interested, trying to understand.. It's not always easy. But here I was, reading translated poems by a Polish/Lithuanian writer, and I wanted to read more.

I find it fascinating, the way we interact with poetry. It's rather like building a network, a map.. All these connections and interests, and no one has the same map. It's like walking through a forest but no one has the same route. And that's how I felt reading Radauskas' poems - like I was adding a connection to my little map, and building my poetry world.

I did cheat a bit on the title to get that nice alliteration - It's really only one Polish poet I'm perusing - and his family was Lithuanian.. But I will share some lines from my favourite poems of his, and I hope you will enjoy them too.

"A black echo knocks about in the abyss.
The star is blind, the star is old."

From Storm In The Hills
(Translated by Jonas Zdanys)


"And you live like an echo, 
Like a voice floating afar. 
You see a silent procession of snails 
Reflected in the water." 

From Autumn In The Park 
(Translated by Jonas Zdanys) 


"While the sun was a poet 
Laureate, all fire and age. 
So I go on, long past sundown, 
Writing to keep a glow on." 

From Spring 
(Translated by Vyt Bakaitis)

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