Poetry
Piotr Mitzner
Sister

The author creates polysemic images with few words

O App

at bottom it’s late autumn
are you sure
these holiday
snapshots
are safe
in the cloud?
since i sense
it’s going to be windy

O Little Lane

lead
the dog and its drunken master
the drunken master and his dog
joined by the leash

Provisions

i’ve bought a loaf of bread
and not to go out tomorrow
i bought two more loaves
i’ve bought seven loaves for the week
i’ve bought a great deal of bread
then i’ve bought a very great deal
of bread
my whole flat up to the ceiling
is full of dried bread
i think i’ll go to the grocer’s
to buy one fresh loaf
or maybe two

For Mother’s Day

you repeated many times:
don’t open the door to strangers
so i do not open to anyone
so many times i heard:
you are capable but lazy
after all those wasted years
i am already capable
of anything
you told me so many times
that i was guilty
so at long last
i want to commit something
so that it can be true
because what you say is true

Translated by Marian Polak-Chlabicz

Poetry
Piotr Mitzner
Sister

The author creates polysemic images with few words

Publisher: Wydawnictwo tCHu, Warszawa 2019
Translation rights: Piotr Mitzner, pmitzner55@gmail.com
Foreign language translations: English (by Marian Polak-Chlabicz, Sister), Russian (by I.N. Sitnikov, selected poems). Mitnzer’s poetry has been published in literary magazines in Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Lithuania, France, Russia, and Slovenia as well.

In his collection Sister, Piotr Mitzner refers to the Augustan tradition of memory’s containers, and to an understanding of the most intimate part of the soul as a closed container. There, every night, ‘the ritual takes place of restoring the slices onto the whole loaf again.’ In the meta-literary epilogue, the slices crumble, darken, and become curtain lace. Simple, nostalgic rhythms demonstrate how grief works after the death of his sister, as well as lost time, and a never written poem. Poetry ‘exclaims: today we only have black letters!’ Poetry is ‘home for the lost ones’ in which we search for our dead ones, even though, in fact, we are searching for ourselves. Mitzner’s latest collection derives from a deep metaphysical longing for a literature which is able to bring things closer to words. The poet confesses, ‘I would like to write water.’ That’s also why he is particularly sensitive to the rhythm of the images, which position themselves within the network of universal symbols from the grand Book of pain and transience. Souls wandering like moths; apples in an orchard hand wired and resembling barbed wire; a postcard morphing into the Wailing Wall. Simple enumeration cannot convey the depth of the metaphors, because the author has the ability to create polysemic images with only a few words. Mitzner generously utilises the multiplicitous nature of short verses, and his phrasing consequently stays away from classically understood rhymes. Puns and the act of yoking together seemingly disparate images and associations (for example; wounds and strings in his poem Wound Blues) constitute a formal equivalent of the attempt to reconcile oneself with the Arcadia of lost childhood. A childhood compared to colourful pictures on black asphalt reflected in a puddle. When the memories of his beloved deceased sister, Krystyna, morph into a series of oneiric images, the protagonist is left with only trust in language and letting the rhythm of speech take over.

Ireneusz Staroń

Translated by Ewa Chrusciel

Learn more about other New Books from Poland

Selected samples

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Szczepan Twardoch
Wojciech Chmielarz
Robert Małecki
Zygmunt Miłoszewski
Anna Piwkowska
Dominika Słowik
Wojciech Chmielewski
Barbara Banaś
Rafał Mikołajczyk
Waldemar Bawołek
Julia Fiedorczuk
Jakub Szamałek
Witold Szabłowski
Jacek Dukaj
Grzegorz Górny, Janusz Rosikoń
Paweł Piechnik
Andrzej Strumiłło

69

Marta Kwaśnicka
Piotr Mitzner
Paweł Sołtys
Wacław Holewiński
Anna Potyra
Wiesław Helak
Urszula Zajączkowska
Marek Stokowski
Stokowski
Hubert Klimko-Dobrzaniecki
HKD
Jakub Małecki
Malecki_Horyzont
Łukasz Orbitowski
Orbitowski
Małgorzata Rejmer
Rejmer
Rafał Wojasiński
Olanda
Wojciech Kudyba
Kudyba
Włodzimierz Bolecki
Bolecki
Jerzy Liebert
Liebert
Wojciech Zembaty
Zembaty
Wojciech Chmielarz
Chmielarz
Bogdan Musiał
Musiał
Joanna Siedlecka
Siedlecka
Krzysztof Tyszka-Drozdowski
Drozdowski
Jarosław Marek Rymkiewicz
Marek Bieńczyk
Bienczyk
Leszek Elektorowicz
Elektorowicz
Adrian Sinkowski
Sinkowski
Szymon Babuchowski
Babuchowski
Lech Majewski
Majewski
Weronika Murek
Murek
Agnieszka Świętek
Swietek
Stanisław Szukalski
Barbara Klicka
Klicka
Anna Kamińska

She climbed her first peaks in a headscarf at a time when women in the mountains were treated by climbers as an additional backpack. It was with her that female alpinism began! She gained recognition in a spectacular way. The path was considered a crossing for madmen. Especially since the tragic accident in 1929, preserved … Continue reading “Halina”

Wojciech Chmielarz

First, Marysia, a student of an exclusive private school in Warsaw’s Mokotów district, dies under the wheels of a train. Her teacher, Elżbieta, tries to find out what really happened. She starts a private investigation only soon to perish herself. But her body disappears, and the only people who have seen anything are Gniewomir, a … Continue reading “Wound”

Anna Kańtoch

A young girl, Regina Wieczorek, was found dead on the beach. She was nineteen years old and had no enemies. Fortunately, the culprit was quickly found. At least, that’s what the militia think. Meanwhile, one day in November, Jan Kowalski appears at the police station. He claims to have killed not only Regina but also … Continue reading “Penance”

Marek Krajewski

The year is 1922. A dangerous time of breakthrough. In the Eastern Borderlands of the Republic of Poland, Bolshevik gangs sow terror, leaving behind the corpses of men and disgraced women. A ruthless secret intelligence race takes place between the Lviv-Warsaw-Free City of Gdańsk line. Lviv investigator Edward Popielski, called Łysy (“Hairless”), receives an offer … Continue reading “A Girl with Four Fingers”

Ks. Tomasz Stępień

This question is closely related to the next one, namely: if any goal exists, does life lead us to that goal in an orderly manner? In other words, is everything that happens to us just a set of chaotic events that, combined together, do not form a whole? To understand how the concept of providence … Continue reading “Order and Love”

Jakub Małecki
Szczepan Twardoch
Wiesław Helak
Maria Wilczek-Krupa
Anna Kańtoch
Rafał Kosik
Paweł Sołtys
Dorota Masłowska
Wiesław Myśliwski
Martyna Bunda
Olga Tokarczuk
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Mariola Kruszewska
Waldemar Bawołek
Marek Oleksicki, Tobiasz Piątkowski
Wojciech Tomczyk
Urszula Zajączkowska
Marzanna Bogumiła Kielar
Ks. Robert Skrzypczak
Bronisław Wildstein
Anna Bikont
Magdalena Grzebałkowska
Wojciech Orliński
Klementyna Suchanow
Andrzej Franaszek
Natalia Budzyńska
Marian Sworzeń
Aleksandra Wójcik, Maciej Zdziarski
Józef Łobodowski

The work of Józef Łobodowski (1909-1988) – a remarkable poet, prose writer, and translator, who spent most of his life in exile – is slowly being revived in Poland. Łobodowski’s brilliant three- volume novel, composed on an epic scale, concerns the fate of families and orphans unmoored by the Bolshevik Revolution and civil war and … Continue reading “Ukrainian Trilogy: Thickets, The Settlement, The Way Back”

Piotr Zaremba
Wacław Holewiński
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