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Selected Poems

4.45  ·  Rating Details  ·  152 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Blessed is the nation that in the course of a century could give the world two poets of Czeslaw Milosz's and Zbigniew Herbert's scope. Doubly blessed is the English-reader, for in this volume he gets Zbigniew Herbert's work rendered by Czeslaw Milosz: like the poor, or better yet like nature herself, Polish genius takes care of its own.

This collection is bound for a much l
Paperback, 140 pages
Published August 2nd 1999 by Ecco (first published 1977)
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May 12, 2013 Islam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Islam by: Amgad ElSabban
ماذا يكون العالم
إذا لم يمتلىء
بصخب الشاعر المستمر
بين الطيور والحجارة
Jalendhari Tabeeb
Dec 05, 2015 Jalendhari Tabeeb marked it as to-read

We walk by the sea-shore
holding firmly in our hands
the two ends of an antique dialogue
—do you love me?
—I love you

with furrowed eyebrows
I summarize all wisdom
of the two testaments
astrologers prophets
philosophers of the gardens
and cloistered philosophers

and it sounds about like this:
—don’t cry
—be brave
—look how everybody

you pout your lips and say
—you should be a clergyman
and fed up you walk off
nobody loves moralists

what should I say on the shore of
a small dead sea

slowly the water fills
John Carpenter
Nov 29, 2014 John Carpenter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book contains careful translations into English, with concern to be exact but also to render the Polish original into fluent English. A reviewer, Michael Hofmann in "Poetry Magazine" (Chicago, May 2007) wrote, "In the hands of the Carpenters, we have seen that everything--be it an article or tense or an "of"--can become an expressive resource deployed in Herbert's cause." ("A Dead Necktie," p. 128.)
May 29, 2008 Janie rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful collection. I particular like when he uses longer lines and line breaks. His prose poems are my least favorite, but they feel very natural.
Mar 19, 2011 Gina rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, truly important poetry. If I ever see it at a bookstore, I would love to purchase it and add it to my collection.
Jun 21, 2013 Rose rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
It's just the "chamber muse" sweeping the old trenches.
Mar 15, 2008 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Bidart & GMH
Sep 12, 2007 Skye rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, read2007
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Zbigniew Herbert was a Polish poet, essayist, drama writer, author of plays, and moralist. He is one of the best known and the most translated post-war Polish writers.
More about Zbigniew Herbert...

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“Inanimate objects are always correct and cannot, unfortunately, be reproached with anything. I have never observed a chair shift from one foot to another, or a bed rear on its hind legs. And tables, even when they are tired, will not dare to bend their knees. I suspect that objects do this from pedagogical considerations, to reprove us constantly for our instability.” 7 likes
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