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Mysticism for Beginners

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Powerful New work by a modern master.

You must listen, listen, listen.

Tired springs breathe under water.

At four in the morning the last, lonely bolt of lightning scribbles something quickly in the sky.

It says "No." Or "Never."

Or "Take courage, the fire's not dead."

-from "The Last Storm"

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Overview

Powerful New work by a modern master.

You must listen, listen, listen.

Tired springs breathe under water.

At four in the morning the last, lonely bolt of lightning scribbles something quickly in the sky.

It says "No." Or "Never."

Or "Take courage, the fire's not dead."

-from "The Last Storm"

Mysticism for Beginners is the third and most beautiful of Adam Zagajewski's collections to appear in English. The poems are about nature, history, the life of cities, the transformations of art, the spiritual essence of everyday life. Their remarkable staying power derives from the gentle meditative authority of Zagajewski's voice, here expertly rendered into English by Clare Cavanagh. Zagajewski's committed, compassionate poems offer access to the mysteries at the heart of experience.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"So how can a poet-an intelligent, serious poet-write mystical verse now? The poetry of Adam Zagajewski provides the beginning of an answer to this question."—Adam Kirsch, The New Republic
Adam Kirsch
So how can a poet-an intelligent, serious poet-write mystical verse now? The poetry of Adam Zagajewski provides the beginning of an answer to this question.
#151;The New Republic
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374217655
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 1/30/1998
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Adam Zagajewski was born in Lvov, Poland, in 1945. His previous books, all published by FSG, include Tremor (1985) and Canvas (1991), both poetry, and Two Cities (1995), a collection of essays.

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Table of Contents

A Quick Poem 3
Transformation 4
September 5
Mysticism for Beginners 7
Anthology 8
The Three Kings 9
The Greenhouse 11
Dutch Painters 12
Postcards 13
The Base Days Say Farewell 14
Shell 15
Iron Train 16
The Thirties 17
Search 18
Referendum 19
Refugees 20
Letter from a Reader 21
I Wasn't in This Poem 22
For M. 23
Far from Home 24
That's Sicily 25
You Are My Silent Brethren 26
Out Walking 27
Whatever Happened 28
Vermeer's Little Girl 29
Cicadas 30
Tierra del Fuego 31
Albi 33
Flags 34
Self-portrait 35
December Wind 37
Traveler 38
The House 39
Moment 40
Blackbird 41
Elegy 42
The Train to Maisons-Laffitte 44
Robespierre Before the Mirror 45
Cello 46
Degas: The Milliner's Shop 47
Planetarium 48
She Wrote in Darkness 49
Airport in Amsterdam 50
Night 52
Long Afternoons 53
To My Older Brother 54
The City Where I Want to Live 55
The Last Storm 56
Persephone 57
This Day's Nothingness 58
The Room I Work In 59
Three Angels 60
From Memory 62
Summer 64
Chinese Poem 65
Holy Saturday in Paris 66
On Swimming 67
Sisters of Mercy 68
Houston, 6 p.m. 69
I Walked Through the Medieval Town 71
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