Eternal Enemies: Poems
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Eternal Enemies: Poems

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  114 ratings  ·  16 reviews
The highway became the Red Sea.
We moved through the storm like a sheer valley.
You drove; I looked at you with love.

--from "Storm"

One of the most gifted and readable poets of his time, Adam Zagajewski is proving to be a contemporary classic. Few writers in either poetry or prose can be said to have attained the lucid intelligence and limpid economy of style that have beco...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published March 18th 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Adam Zagajewski is often compared to the Polish poet Czeslaw Miloscz: both write of the proximity of history and memory in their native Poland, and both are seen as the preeminent writers to embody the emotions of that country. But where Milocz’s sensibilities developed during the Nazi occupation of Warsaw and his defection from Poland’s communist regime, Zagajewski was born in 1945, and was still an infant when his family relocated to Western Poland. Too young to...more
Corin Wenger
Zagajewski speaks from multiple histories that seem to search for a humane world.... or evoke a fragmented and traumatized world in the pieces of today. The book evokes comparisons with Paul Celan, with references to historical trauma of Auschwitz and the struggle to speak after dehumanization. His poetry is invariably small, modest, and personal in nature, not moralistic but ethically concerned, compassionate. Although I have not read much Milosz or Herbert, I believe he was contemporary with b...more
"The territory of truth
is plainly small,
narrow as a path above a cliff.
Can you stick
to it?"
PS: Someone said that reading poetry in translation is like kissing a woman through a veil. I have the feeling that the veil of here was quite thick, and that I would have given the book more points if I had read it in Polish.
Amanda Carver
This would be four stars all the way MINUS ABOUT 30 PAGES of not-great poems that couldn't at all stand with the great poems. Seriously, poets--80 pages should be the UPPER LIMIT. 116 is slightly obscene.
a wonderful collection of poetry that I thoroughly enjoyed. every single poem was laced with deep thoughts and meaning that I find simply beautiful. I did not expect myself to be so drawn into his poetry, it is definitely a collection that I'll go back to on good days, bad days... any day.
Tyler Malone
With all my soul -- read those words, and if they have the power to convince you of anything, then maybe you'll enjoy Eternal Enemies. Okay, with all my soul, I wanted to enjoy this collection. So, in good poetic faith, I'll give those book another read. Reading poetry aloud shouldn't bore you, and some of the lines have true, condensed power. Maybe I'm just tired of reading poetic allusions to classic music, composers, aural power.


Poetry--how to put it?--
makes life rounder,
fuller, prouder,...more
Isla McKetta
"We don't, we can't know, / if we'll be saved, / if our microscopic souls, / which have committed no evil / and likewise done no good, / will answer a question posed in an unknown tongue."

A lovely book. This covers more quotidian happenings and less of his historical commentary that I so deeply love, but the poetry is there. It merits a re-read, for as Zagajewski writes, "If only we read poetry as carefully as menus in expensive restaurants..."
I will admit that I am not completely finished reading this; I probably have 10 poems left to read. I was disappointed with this book. I love Zagajewski, but I would say 70% of these need editing. Many of the poems could be awesome, but they're peppered with trite language. If you have read Zagajewski before, I recommend starting with one of his earlier books.
Ok... hmm... so...
this may not be my favorite Zagajewski collection?
But, I'll just say it: I'm a fan. Really.
This book is quiet. Will not "come after you."
But if you go after it, and if you're willing
to spend the energy, there is gold in here.

Just s l o w d o w n . . .
Sep 10, 2009 Iris rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Iris by: Raintaxi Review of Books
Shelves: poetry
Zagajewski takes your hand, leading you to an effervescent sort of calm place; his poems are spare and warm, intelligent and sensory. A beautiful volume of short voyages (few of these poems surpass one page). Clare Cavanagh finesses the translation.
although Zagajewski isn't really very well known, I think he is one of the best poets alive. He is clear, precise & always current. His latest collection is filled with poems about cities, places, friends & important poets & writers.
Zagajewski's poems keep me rapt. He write a lot about cities and streets and location is this one, which is kind of his thing, but as always he delivers some amazing poetry.
Sep 09, 2008 A. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008, poetry
Whoever does the collection development for the CHPL's poetry is A+ at it -- I tend to only read poetry off the new books shelf, and there hasn't been a bad collection.
My favorite of his to date. This book felt like such a cohesive whole, a perfectly contained paradigm where I made every leap he wanted me to make.
I bought this one at poetry bookshop in Boston. The saleswoman told me that Polish men are just as inexplicably alluring as the Polish poets.
Gorgeous. Well worth the wait from his last book.
Steven Chang
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Sep 07, 2014
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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
More about Adam Zagajewski...
Without End: New and Selected Poems Mysticism for Beginners: Poems A Defense of Ardor: Essays Unseen Hand: Poems Another Beauty

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