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Adam Zagajewski
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Without End - Collected and New Poems

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  290 ratings  ·  20 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 collect

Published 2007 (first published February 10th 2002)
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John Pappas
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
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
JJ Aitken
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
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.

Sylvia Berg
Brilliant. I need to get my own copy so I can read it a dozen more times.
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.
"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.
Anna Cate
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.
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.
Elizabeth Mullins
Aug 07, 2007 Elizabeth Mullins rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
A newly canonized member of my favorite poets club. Able to be accessible, emotionally-charged and deep all together.
B November
One of the best and most underrated collections of poetry. Sheer genius.
Without End: New and Selected Poems by Adam Zagajewski (2003)
Darrin Doyle
Read one or two poems a day out of this, and you'll be glad you did.
Nov 12, 2007 Janie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all poets and people from a war torn district of Europe of Asia
European writing is a deep well.
Another great Polish writer.
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  • The Collected Poems, 1956-1998
  • Miracle Fair: Selected Poems
  • The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems
  • New and Collected Poems: 1931-2001
  • The Selected Poetry
  • Elegy
  • The Tunnel: Selected Poems
  • Hinge & Sign: Poems, 1968?1993
  • The Branch Will Not Break
  • Wheel With a Single Spoke: and Other Poems
  • My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry
  • Praise
  • The Selected Poems
  • Dancing in Odessa
  • The Maximus Poems
  • Collected Poems, 1920-1954
  • Some Ether
  • Atlantis
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...
Eternal Enemies: Poems Mysticism for Beginners: Poems A Defense of Ardor: Essays Unseen Hand: Poems Another Beauty

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