Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki is an unusual poet in both the context of his native Poland and that of world literature. Though his poems contain numerous literary and cultural references, he is not an “esthetic” poet like, say, Zbigniew Herbert or Adam Zagajewski. Though Dycki's poems are intensely personal, they are not so in the obvious sense that one finds in the poetry of Czesław Miłosz or Wisława Szymborska. And though Dycki's writing is firmly rooted in historical context, this dimension too is recast in a way not found in other Polish poets either of his own or preceding generations.
From Ad Benevolum Lectorem
do not let yourself be caught
in the snare I set for you
from the very first poem
I was thinking how to swallow you
and the thought gave me wings
and gives me wings still
so stop yourself from going mad
and send me away while you still have
the strength because in tangling with me
you are certain to lose in tangling
with me you'll come out a bigger
fool than the author of this book
Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki was born in 1962 in southeastern Poland close to the Ukrainian border. Author of nine collections of poetry, he has won numerous literary prizes both in Poland and elsewhere, including the prestigious Kazimiera Iakowiczówna Prize, the Barbara Sadowska Prize, and Germany's Hubert Burda Prize. His work has previously appeared in various English-language journals as well as in the Zephyr Press anthology Carnivorous Boy Carnivorous Bird. Peregrinary is his first book-length publication in English.
Bill Johnston has held translation fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities; in 2005 he won the translation award of AATSEEL for his rendering of Magdalena Tulli's prose poem Dreams and Stones. He teaches literary translation at Indiana University, where he is also director of the Polish Studies Center.
Peregrinary, by Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki
from Polish by Bill Johnston
ISBN 978-0-939010-97-4 (paper)
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6 x 8
148 pages [bilingual Polish/English]