Featured Poem

Night

The poem
first shuts you inside.
It doesn’t want
you to look around, search
for different words
in different poems.

You sit cornered in the stone,
a scrunched
sheet of paper.
Defenceless and resigned,
you don’t breathe. The poem
won’t allow.

Inside the stone you can’t
fidget or use
a bed a watch a map
and all the rest
of your imagination.

The poem
has its own imagination,
erected in yours,
then shut inside
to free itself.

You have to wait
in the corner of the stone,
where the golden dust
of hope occasionally glints.

In the end the poem
will open itself. The stone
will let you out: a sheet of paper
that will begin to breathe.

» Comment on this translation 5 comment(s)

» Read notes
About the translation:
» Read translator's notes
Poet:
Wojciech Bonowicz
Translator:
Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese
Original language:
Polish
Issue:
Series 3 No.12 - Freed Speech

Original poem

About the authors

Poet

Wojciech Bonowicz

Wojciech Bonowicz (b.1967) is a poet, journalist and editor; he writes a column for the weekly Tygodnik Powszechny. He has pub...

» Read more

Translator

Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese

Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese translates contemporary Polish poetry, especially authors not yet known in English. Her translations app...

» Read more

Noc (Night)

» Read the Notes

Wiersz
najpierw zamyka cię w sobie.
Nie chce
żebyś rozglądał się szukał
innych słów
w innych wierszach.

Siedzisz w kącie kamienia
zwinięty
jak kartka papieru.
Bezbronny pogodzony
nie oddychasz. Wiersz
nie pozwala.

W kamieniu nie można
wiercić się używać
łóżka zegara mapy
i całej reszty
wyobraźni.

Wiersz
ma swoją wyobraźnię.
Zbudował ją sobie w twojej
a potem zamknął
żeby się uwolnić.

Musisz czekać
w kącie kamienia
w którym czasem zaświeci
złoty kurz nadziei.

W końcu wiersz
otworzy się. Kamień
wypuści cię: kartka papieru
która zacznie oddychać.

Comment

Maria Jastrzebska

14th Jan 2012

I love the title. Poems about poetry can be so tedious but this is exquisite. Bonowicz and his translator Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese make it seem as natural & effortless as breathing.

Niels Hav

16th Jan 2012

Fine work with a deep metaphysical resonance -
Don'€™t you put the poem
in a headlock - You are under arrest!
The poem won't obey orders.
Thanks for sharing!

puja sinha

29th Jan 2012

wonderful! i liked it very much. it touched my heart deeply and my mouth was open when i was reading it. great effort.

Rishiram Pandey

17th Feb 2012

So nice translation, the beauty of language can be found even in translation, great job.

Ken Evans

1st Mar 2012

In a lot of contemporary verse, I miss the art of versification. I enjoy the imagery sometimes, but the art makes it sound better, and, after all, poems are for the tongue not the page.

ADD YOUR COMMENT


Browse poems

By original language »

By issue of MPT »

Go Digital

Subscribe to the digital edition of MPT for access to all back issues and to the Exactly app.» View free trial issue

Back to top
Supported by Arts Council England

Copyright © Modern Poetry in Translation and contributors
Website design ashbydesign
Developed by Code Frontiers
Powered by Storemill