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Adam Zagajewski
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Without End - Collected and New Poems

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  375 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews

The best work of one of Poland s greatest poets.

I love to swim in the sea, which keeps
talking to itself
in the monotone of a vagabond
who no longer recalls
exactly how long he s been on the road.
Swimming is like prayer:
palms join and part,
join and part,
almost without end.

—from "On Swimming"

This large selection draws from Adam Zagajewski s English-language collec

Published 2007 (first published February 10th 2002)
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Community Reviews

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Jul 28, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Agree with other reviews - 'what is it about Polish poets?' Milosz, Szymborska, Herbert, Zagajewski - one can only imagine how beautiful these poems are in their native language. I once heard Zagajewski translator Clare Cavanaugh speak about her translation of the deeply moving poem, Let us Praise the Mutilated World. When she sent AZ her English translation, he responded (as I recall) "dead kittens... dead puppies". Is it too late to learn Polish at age 61?
John Pappas
Jul 27, 2011 John Pappas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From "Try to Praise the Mutilated World" to "Watching Shoah in a Hotel Room in America," Zagajewski's images are trenchant and affecting. Not entirely dissimilar to Simic's Eastern European sensibility, Zagajewski's poetry has a slightly more densely allusive Central European style. He seems less at home in America, but more at home in the world, while Simic writes from New Hampshire as if he's lived there his entire life, but sees mystery in every wooden bucket, every dying pine. Zagajewski doe ...more
Kate Savage
"You’d think it would be easy, living.
All you need is a fistful of earth, a boat, a nest, a jail,
a little breath, some drops of blood, and longing."

Some of the lines from this collection have become my friends. Many of them slid straight away. To write a legitimate review, I would have to speak a different language.
Feb 02, 2009 Rich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A collection I return to again and again. What is it about the Poles and poetry? Is it that they do not operate in the kind of toxic "publish or perish" environment that has increasingly infected American literary publishing? These poems are quiet, lyrical, beautifully detailed, connected to the larger world of politics and tragic events, deeply melancholy and often surprising.
christopher leibow
Zagajewski’s collection was vast in its range and was somewhat reminiscent of Herbert or Milosz His poems create a sense of longing for some lost innocence of place like his birth city Lvov. This is a running theme present in many of the poems in this collection.
I found some of Zagajewski’s poems powerful and immediate such as, Try To Praise The Mutilated World, with its wonderful images and its wonderful juxtapositions. I think this is where Zagajewski’s strength lies, his startling and at othe
Harper Curtis
Nov 19, 2013 Harper Curtis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You must praise the mutilated world

A beautiful, touching collection by a fine poet. Zagajewski is witty, humorous, accessible and, unlike so many contemporary American poets, he is not afraid of sentimentality. An example to learn from.
Feb 22, 2009 Randal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adam Zagajewski’s beautifully somber poetry evokes images of European cities tinged with soot and choked with the history of failed leaders. Reading his poems is like viewing human nature as daguerreotype--sepia-toned, sad, and proud, but with the thinnest crescent of hope.

Zagajewski’s work at its best is sublimely insightful. However, his frequent use of naming European artists and politicos feels clunky at times, and, lacking reference points for many of them, I found my attention wandering.

JJ Aitken
Aug 12, 2014 JJ Aitken rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the collection with which I found the poetry of Adam Zagajewski. Up until this point poetry was always a terrain of uncertainty for me. Finding jewels in the rough, but only just and, with large spaces in between. Then I found (Without End). As clear and as lucid as a message from the mouth of a monk yet as surreal as two planets colliding over the top of your clothesline. Every one of these exquisite poems filled me with life and the knowledge that there are no limits to restraint or, a ...more
Apr 01, 2008 Frank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found Zagajewski's poetry completely by accident. It's wonderful and powerful. This book has new poems, but also selection of poem from every stage of his life and writing career. It is always interesting to see how a poet's work evolves from decade to decade. He is one of my favorites, especially his later work.
Jul 02, 2007 Wealhtheow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Philosophers" is one of my very favorite poems, as bitter as it is. I saw Zagajewski in person last year, and thought him not only impeccable in mind but also in speech. He's very old and careful, yet there's a dynamism and sense of humor there that's really wonderful.
Nov 17, 2009 Kathryn marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
NOT A REVIEW: Poland is at the center of my new world order. Considering making a proposal for artistic exchange between contemporary Polish dance and poetry. Let me know what other contemporary Polish poets I should read.
Anna Keating
Feb 01, 2009 Anna Keating rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loaned to me by a student who couldn't stop reading him. Zagajewski writes wonderful transcendent stuff. The reading of this collection was made even better by my student's marginalia. She writes,"yes! yes!" and then, "look this word up." Le Sigh.
Elizabeth Mullins
Aug 07, 2007 Elizabeth Mullins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Maria Belford
Some of the best poems I've read in a while. Zagajewski has such an incredible range of style and the poems are packed with intellect and wonderful worldly imagery
Jul 06, 2007 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, polish
A newly canonized member of my favorite poets club. Able to be accessible, emotionally-charged and deep all together.
B November
Aug 13, 2007 B November rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best and most underrated collections of poetry. Sheer genius.
Darrin Doyle
Jan 22, 2008 Darrin Doyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read one or two poems a day out of this, and you'll be glad you did.
Christian Bowe
May 16, 2015 Christian Bowe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
holy shit.
Miranda Tsang
May 13, 2016 Miranda Tsang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty Dang Good.
Nike Sulway
Dec 09, 2016 Nike Sulway rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, male-writers
Translated by Renata Gorczynski (wonderful translation)

A stunning survey of the work of one of the 'New Wave' of Polish writers.

Zagajewski once wrote:

"I won't tell you everything. Since nothing's really happening. I represent, moreover, the Eastern European school of discretion: we don't discuss divorces, we don't admit depressions. Life proceeds peacefully on all fronts; beyond the window, a gray, exceptionally warm December. A few concerts. A marvelous young singer performed recently in the l
Patrick Duggan
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Jul 13, 2007
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Jul 13, 2014
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Oct 31, 2007
Jon Cone
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Feb 02, 2009
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Adam Zagajewski is a Polish poet, novelist, translator and essayist. He was awarded the 2004 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.

The Zagajeski family was expelled from Lwów by the Ukrainians to central Poland in 1945.
In 1982 he emigrated to Paris, but in 2002 he returned to Poland, and resides in Kraków.
His poem "Try To Praise The Mutilated World", printed in The New Yorker, became famou
More about Adam Zagajewski...

Share This Book

“I drink from a small spring,
my thirst exceeds the ocean.”
“In my defense I have
only silence, dew on the grass, a nightingale
among the branches. You forgive it,
its long tenure in the leaves of one aspen
after another, drops of eternity, grams
of amazement, and the sleepy complaints of the poor poets”
More quotes…