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The Collected Poems, 1956-1998
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The Collected Poems, 1956-1998

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by Zbigniew Herbert, Czeslaw Milosz (Translator), Peter Dale Scott (Translator), Adam Zagajewski (Introduction), Alissa Valles (Translator)
 

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Every great poet lives between two worlds. One of these is the real, tangible world of history, private for some and public for others. The other world is a dense layer of dreams, imagination, fantasms. It sometimes happens... that this second world takes on gigantic proportions, that it becomes inhabited by numerous spirits, that it is haunted by Leo Africanus and

Overview

Every great poet lives between two worlds. One of these is the real, tangible world of history, private for some and public for others. The other world is a dense layer of dreams, imagination, fantasms. It sometimes happens... that this second world takes on gigantic proportions, that it becomes inhabited by numerous spirits, that it is haunted by Leo Africanus and other ancient magi.

Editorial Reviews

San Francisco Chronicle
“Now, nearly 10 years after his death, Herbert’s voice is gathered, uncensored and unimaginably strong, in one dynamic volume.”
Philadelphia Inquirer
“English readers have cause for celebration...”
Publishers Weekly

Herbert (1924–1998) lived to witness his hometown of Lwów, Poland, occupied by the Soviets in 1939, the Nazis in 1941, and the Soviets again in 1944. This exposure to systematic and violent oppression awakened in Herbert a protective and motivating skepticism that pervades all his poetry: "If you put trust in your five senses/ the world contracts into a hazelnut." This impeccably, newly translated and edited volume finds Herbert, strongly anticommunist throughout his life, determined to resist the reduction of the human to anything easily measured, manipulated and forgotten, even if history keeps reminding us that "only our dreams have not been humiliated." Tender, wary, melancholy and wry, the poems visit ideas of redemption as one might visit a grave site, i.e., knowing that what you seek can only be experienced in the heart and mind. If one attempts through poetry to "offer to the betrayed world / a rose," Herbert's world-weary, tragicomic alter-ego, Mr. Cogito—one of last century's most memorable poetic personages–warns us that the gesture will probably go unnoticed, especially in an age when even "the temple of freedom/ has been turned into a flea market." Finally, the work of this powerful master of 20th-century literature is all in one place. (Feb.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Joseph Brodsky
“Zbigniew Herbert is a poet for this place; above all, for this time.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060783952
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/05/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
624
Sales rank:
606,396
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.56(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Collected Poems
1956-1998

Two Drops

No time to grieve for roses, when the forests are burning.
—Juliusz Słowacki

The forests were on fire—
they however
wreathed their necks with their hands
like bouquets of roses

People ran to the shelters—
he said his wife had hair
in whose depths one could hide

Covered by one blanket
they whispered shameless words
the litany of those who love

When it got very bad
they leapt into each other's eyes
and shut them firmly

So firmly they did not feel the flames
when they came up to the eyelashes

To the end they were brave
To the end they were faithful
To the end they were similar
like two drops
stuck at the edge of a face

The Collected Poems
1956-1998
. Copyright © by Zbigniew Herbert. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are Saying About This

Joseph Brodsky
“Zbigniew Herbert is a poet for this place; above all, for this time.”

Meet the Author

Zbigniew Herbert was born in Lwów, Poland, in 1924. In his late teens he fought in the under-ground resistance against the Nazis. Herbert studied law, economics, and philosophy at the universities of Krakow, Torun, and Warsaw. His books include Selected Poems, Report from the Besieged City and Other Poems, Mr Cogito, Still Life with a Bridle, The King of the Ants, Labyrinth on the Sea, and Collected Poems. He died in 1998.

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Collected Poems, 1956-1998 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago