The World Shared

Darius Sosnicki, trans. from the Polish by Boris Dralyuk and Piotr Florczyk. BOA (Consortium, dist.), $16 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-938160-34-9
This first American book from the prolific and celebrated Polish poet and critic not only survives translation; its urbane, articulate, unpredictable free verse positively flourishes in the American English that the facing-page edition provides. Sosnicki can be minatory, or mock-vatic, almost advising the impossible: “One is an owl./ One should be more so.// One should close one’s eyes, which have ceased to see,/ and open new ones.” But he can also excel as an observer, voicing the everyday absurd: to “A Mouse in a Bucket,” Sosnicki says “I can’t believe you fell in here by your own fault/ or that some bird basketball player has dropped you.” Zoo animals look “glad/ to pose for pictures and be fed junk”; items of furniture, late in the day, “reach out to us/ with an ergonomic handle.” A few poems depict the American plains or address American topics; others pursue the travails of Polishness, tiny and huge: “Why do Polish girls take off their shoes on the train?... We have paid dearly for our disastrous geopolitical situation.” Thoughtful American readers who have grown tired of hothouse surrealism should embrace Sosnicki’s humor, understated intelligence, and dry ironies: the poetry introduced here has come to stay. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/19/2014
Release date: 06/01/2014
Open Ebook - 112 pages - 978-1-938160-35-6
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