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Cyprian Kamil Norwid: Selected Poems (2e)

Cyprian Norwid

Translated by Adam Czerniawski

Imprint: Anvil Press Poetry
Edition: 2nd
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback 2e (104 pages)
(Pub. Aug 2011)
Out of Stock
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author

    Such depths …

    In the Ocean such depths there are
    That waves surging from below
    Reject the lead-tipped rope,
         For here ends the plumb-line’s rule …
    Now at the mercy of the sun and stars,
    You don’t ask land how the run will end …



    Give me a blue ribbon …

    Give me a blue ribbon – I will hand it back
    Without delay …
    Or give me the shadow of your supple neck:
    – No! not the shadow.

    The shadow will change when you wave,
    It does not lie.
    Now there is nothing I desire, lovely maid,
    I take my arm away …

    God’s past rewards
    Were lesser things:
    A leaf stuck to a window pane,
    A drop of rain.

    Translated by Adam Czerniawski

    Cyprian Norwid, born in 1821 near Warsaw, is one of the most innovative and idiosyncratic figures in Polish literature. His unique poetry is now recognized as among Poland’s finest. Adam Czerniawski’s selection from all phases of the poet’s work beautifully recreate the work of a poet described by Jerzy Peterkiewicz as a great innovator in Polish poetry and a profoundly original sensibility.

    This second edition adds a translation of the first poem of the Vade-mecum cycle (‘Hands clapping – now swollen’) and an additiional preface by Adam Czerniawski.

    Norwid’s work is introduced by the late Bogdan Czaykowski, the eminent Polish poet, scholar and critic.

    Cyprian Norwid
    Cyprian Kamil Norwid was born in 1821 near Warsaw. Largely self-taught, he left Poland at the age of 21, moving widely around Europe, befriended by Chopin among others, before travelling to America. Persistently dogged by financial crises, he was forced to return to Paris in 1854. There he spent the rest ... read more
    Adam Czerniawski
    Adam Czerniawski, born in Warsaw in 1934, lived in the Middle East from 1941–47 before coming to England. He has translated widely from Polish as well as publishing original poetry, short stories, criticism and a memoir both in Polish and English. He lives in Wales and has worked in a ... read more
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