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Overview

Elegy for the Departure by Zbigniew Herbert

Available for the first time in English, Elegy for the Departure and Other Poems is an important collection from the late Zbigniew Herbert. Translated from the Polish by award-winning translators John and Bogdana Carpenter, these sixty-eight verse and prose poems span forty years of Herbert's incredible life and work. The pieces are organized chronologically from 1950 to 1990, with an emphasis on the writer's early and late poems.

Here Zbigniew Herbert's poetry turns from the public—what we have come to expect from this poet—to the more personal. The title poem, "Elegy for the Departure of Pen Ink and Lamp , is a three-part farewell ode to the inanimate objects and memories of childhood. Herbert reflects on the relationship between the living and the dead in "What Our Dead Do," the state of his homeland in "Country," and the power of language in "We fall asleep on words . . . " Herbert's short prose poems read like aphorisms, deceptively whimsical but always wise: "Bears are divided into brown and white, also paws, head, and trunk. They have nice snouts, and small eyes.... Children who love Winnie-the-Pooh would give them anything, but a hunter walks in the forest and aims with his rifle between that pair of small eyes."

Elegy for the Departure and Other Poems confirms Zbigniew Herbert's place as one of the world's greatest and most influential poets.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780880016193
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/01/1999
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)

About 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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