Tomasz Różycki belongs to a group of outstanding younger poets from Silesia, a region in Poland that bears the mark of a distinct mixture of cultures. Many families were relocated to the region in a forced migration after World War II, and shifting borders have likewise added influences from Germany and other neighboring countries. Through translations of a selection of poems from Różycki's five collections of poetry in Polish, as well as a critical introduction, The Forgotten Keys acquaints readers with a distinctive and formidable Polish writer. Unlike other contemporary Polish poets who clearly reject the heavy historicism of Czesław Miłosz and Zbigniew Herbert, Różycki claims such influence, exploring both personal and collective memory. Zephyr Press has also published his Colonies.
The translator Mira Rosenthal is a poet and founding editor of Lyric Poetry Review. She has been a Fulbright Fellow to Poland and selected and edited a special issue of Lyric on new Polish poetry in translation. Her work has appeared in the journals Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, and Notre Dame Review, among others.
The Forgotten Keys, by Tomasz Różycki
The Forgotten Keys
from Polish by Mira Rosenthal
ISBN 0-939010-92-5 (paper)
6 x 8
128 pages [bilingual Polish/English]
“Personal” for Różycki means also transpersonal; the persona of his poetry holds the memory of an entire family or tribe, or perhaps even of society in general. And there's no mockery here. Różycki's poetry is serious, a private response to the historic moment. Without a doubt, a vital new poet has emerged from the Polish language.