Angielski

Agnieszka Jarzębowska 

Agnieszka Jarzębowska is the author of epigrams and lyric poems. She graduated from the University of Lodz. Her first works were published in the pages of “Dziennik Akademicki” in 1981, whilst she was still a student. Her poems have also been presented on local TV (Telewizja Miejska Sieradz, RETSAT TV) and radio (Nasze Radio, Radio Lodz). Some of them have also appeared in the pages of “Siódma Prowincja” and the cultural magazine “Kalejdoskop”. Her first book, “Uśmiechy i Uśmieszki”, came out in 2010. This was followed two years later by the continuation of “Uśmiechy i Uśmieszki”, “Fraszkomat”. Also in 2012, she published a Polish-German book of poems, “Miejsce po przecinku/Die Stelle nach dem Komma” and Polish-Serbian “Układam siebie/Slazem sebe”. Her poems have been translated into many languages: English, German, Serbian, Swedish, Lithuanian, Slovakian, Bulgarian.

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Tłumaczenie Jarosław Jarzębowski; korekta Piotr Najwer, Mark Weaver

***

try to look for me
find me
in the mechanism of every-day life
modes
of accelerated time
where every minute
has significance in life
where every sun is
older
by one more
indiscretion of man

 

***
you need time

to be a good parent
you need time

to be a good wife
you need to find the time
to be yourself

***
I got
from you Mother
a few life verities
and I spent a long time
unravelling them
and started to understand
what it means
to be a person
and to have a beautiful life
until you were in hospital
when it turned out
that a person can consist of
a name and surname
and a list of diseases
and to be a person
as long as the machinery
of intensive care allows
later
you can have a nice funeral
and be a snapshot in memories
and you know what Mother?
the flowers on your window-sill
are blooming with health

 

***
poets
oversensitive
strange
creatures
weak enough
to suffer
strong enough
to tell the world
about it

***

the place after the comma
everything
depends on the place of the comma
I thought
maths
no
it’s philosophy
he said
take a sentence

write it twice
putting a comma
in two different places
„to love no,
killing is allowed”
„to love,
no killing is allowed”
history
has moved the place of the coma

many times

 

***
everywhere
you can meet people
praying to God
for “SOMETHING BETTER”

***
there are three crows standing
ruffling feathers

they haven’t even opened their beaks yet
but one already knows
that they will squawk
like people

 

***
for beauty
there is need to go far

a nearby meadow
with a cricket
is enough

***
from the plates
of strangers
even delicious
dishes
don’t taste like
those flavoured
with a bit of home

***
in the fifth season
the 25th hour of the day

there is a meeting place
for painters
and poets

inadequacy

impossible to define

the space between
inspiration
and inspiration

thought
and word
colour
and patch

dawn and day
entry through the doorway
in the street of Muses

tłum. Marta Jarzębowska, korekta Piotr Najwer, Mark Weaver

I long for the time
when I leave
for the land
where nobody will be AGAINST

1980

***

I will wait a thousand years
and I will live
in a different world
without unnecessary cults
and I will love
against cold walls
against cold people
I’ll derive the warmth
from flowers
I will wait through a thousand years
of human hate

Moscow 1980

***

He’s walking
so self-confident
and sure of his view
what is the most just
impresses
the great politician
who knows
which person deserves to be
slagged off
I’m listening
uncertain
not knowing
with a naïve question
who the great politician is

Lodz 1980

A. Jarzębowska SAMI O SOBIE 16.11.2012 tłum. Marek Marciniak

 

About Happiness

 

Only when we are so young
The happiness clock goes quick with bang

 

A Business Approach
A politician oft makes a stall
with a note:”Mess for sale in all”

 

About a Certain Person

 

Altars and God
They still laud
But no prayers will do
When a man is bad through

 

About the Unchanged
There is till something unchanged in our fate:
we consume what each day brings, my mate

 

About the Man Who Has Not Grown Up
His early years were pondered
by him all his life – no wonder

 

About Muses
An artist said in spring:
„Do not make haste with Muses
otherwise we will all sink”

 

About a Race
 
Oft it comes to my head
That life is a multistage race, all that

 

An Addict
Alas, from his early years
he tried all bad habits
– with no fears

 

The Leader of Peleton
 
He fulfilled his ideals
being the peleton leader od bad eels

 

The Time of Creation
 
It is an obvious fact
that time of creation decides
if you are still a craftsman
or already an artist in act

 

 A Status
Life is costly,
death is gratis.

 

 Immortalize
Rare are moments of inspiration
so immortalize all you have for immortalization

 

by AGNIESZKA JARZĘBOWSKA

 

***
A young man does not ask
if he is allowed to fly.
Single-handedly he stretches out
his unskilled wings.
Sometimes reaching sky too high.
Hey, you will be entrapped by life’s traps.
Daedalus’ good advice seems for him outdated,
the wings of dreams take him high
That talk of traps is  by him hated,
wants to feel adrenaline in the clouded sky.

 

Gliding high the flight of Icarus
Up there wanting to be vigorous.
Alas, he will be taken to the ground
by the big power of a little woman found.

Translated by: Marek Marciniak

And life moved on

On the 1st of September 1939 Irene had just finished 7 and was about to go to school. Even days before the war started, the grown-ups kept talking about it. She understood little of it, thought this just meant a hand to hand combat by soldiers in colourful uniforms. In any case these were the images that she saw in the books. One day, when she was listening to the grown-ups talking, she burst our crying, when she imagined troopers fighting with their sabres right under her windows, the blood trickling. There is no water in the house and you can’t get any because the well is at the end of the backyard.

Father had to calm the seven-year old for a long time:

– We are safe, child.

First day after the war started had brought the sight of people who, after the nearby city had been bombarded, had fled to her hometown. Desperate people, sitting on the stairs, in the backyards – all exhausted and hungry. And the locals would bring them pots of coffee, soup, whatever they could. Irene’s family faced the same fate very soon. People said that close, just by the river Warta, there will be a big battle. And they fled away from the river, as far as they could. This flight was pointless but back then noone knew what to do and what will happen… German fighters were attacking the civilians and the military on the roads. Irene would jump with her family into the roadside ditch whenever she could hear the roar of the fighter.

They had finally reached some barn. In the night there was another shooting. People prayed out loud, kept crying. The mother woke up the girl:

– Get up, the barn may catch the fire any moment.
The child was terribly tired – she barely lifted her head from the straw and said:

– Wake me up when it’s on fire.

And she went back to sleep.
September was very warm that year. One day, when a girl dressed in a red dress with white polka dots was playing in the backyards, the German planes had emerged. Everyone quickly hid. Someone yelled
– Take the child in the red dress!

She felt that someone grabbed her by her arms and hid behind the wall.
There were many flights from nosediving fighters. With time, she learned what to do.
For a while she stayed alone with her mother as her father went to help those fighting in Warsaw. He came back 2 or 3 weeks later.

In October 1939 the Germans allowed for classes to start. As it later turned out, this was only to catch the teachers. Eradicating Polish intelligentsia was on their agenda. Irene’s mother was a teacher and someone had warned her that the next day all the teachers would get arrested. She didn’t want to raise any suspicion and so she wrote a note with a warning, put it in the pocket of her little daughter and said:

– You will go to all the teachers that we know and you will show this note.
– Yes, mother.
The warning has been passed on and everyone managed to flee the city. Only the school principal stayed – he thought someone needed to. The news about the planned arrests turned out to be true. The principal was arrested.

Irene and her parents left the city and hid at their family, a dozen or so kilometers further. Many of the other teachers were not that lucky – they had been detained in a makeshift prison, in a factory.
When the whole population of her hometown was displaced, in order to turn the area into a firing ground, the family moved to a nearby village. Mother has been giving underground tuition. She would go to pupils’ houses or pupils’ would come over – even though the mother knew she could be sent to the concentration camp if she got exposed.

The war had left a mark on Irene as much as on everyone else. Her father died from tuberculosis in 1943. After father’s death, they have been helped by a doctor. He was a father of two and asked the mother to teach his children. He would allow children like Irene to access his library, help other orphans. It is then when the little girl read the most important works of Sienkiewicz, Kraszewski and many others. One could say that she educated herself. Long into the curfew, she stayed up and read, with the window blinds shut tight. She didn’t even dream of the fancy snacks from the time before the war. Rationed food had to suffice – black bread, swede and beetroot marmalade, watered-down soups. Schools were only for Germans, no-one was allowed to have radio; even the benches in the park had a sign „Nur fὕr Deutsche”. Poles have been treated as if they had not been human beings. And so, after the defeat at Stalingrad, when groups of wounded and worn-down German marauders passed the village, the girl would whisper:

– I’m not even sorry for them, momma.
– Let’s rejoice, dear child, the nightmare is almost over.

And the life went on.

Translated by: Tomasz Jarzębowski