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By Zbigniew Herbert

This striking new translation brings a uniformity of voice to Zbigniew Herbert's complete poetic output, from his first e-book of poems, String of sunshine, in 1956, to his ultimate quantity, formerly unpublished in English, Epilogue Of the hurricane. accumulated Poems: 1956-1998, as Joseph Brodsky stated of Herbert's chosen Poems, is "bound for a far longer haul than any people can anticipate." He maintains, "For Zbigniew Herbert's poetry provides to the biography of civilization the sensibility of a guy now not defeated by means of the century that has been such a lot thorough, most popular in dehumanization of the species. Herbert's irony, his austere reserve and his compassion, the lucidity of his lyricism, the depth of his sentiment towards classical antiquity, usually are not simply trappings of a latest poet, however the helpful armor'in his case well-tempered and shining indeed'for guy to not be beaten through the onslaught of fact. by means of delivering to his readers neither aesthetic nor moral undefined, this poet, in reality, saves them from that poverty which each and every kind of human evil unearths so congenial. so long as the species exists, this publication can be timely."

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Yet he survives every body. obdurate as a cockle, lazy as a burdock. decorative yet actual The third-dimensional illustrations from pitiful textbooks. Deathly white, with dry hair, an empty quiver, and a reduced in size thyrsus. They stand immobile on arid islands, amid residing stones below a leafy firmament. A symmetrical Aphrodite, a Jove bewept through canine, a Bacchus under the influence of alcohol on plaster. The shame of nature. Blemishes on gardens. actual gods entered the surface of stone purely in short and reluctantly. Their robust enterprise—thunderbolts and sunrise gentle, starvation and golden rain—demanded a unprecedented mobility. They fled from burning towns; clutching waves they sailed to far away isles. In beggars’ rags they crossed the borders of a while and civilizations. Pursued and pursuing, sweating, yelling, in an uninterrupted hunt for fugitive humanity. TUSCULUM He had by no means relied on the success of ships’ ropes so he obtained a home with a backyard like them ultimately he might write in concord with Nature from a tall tower of grass amid mortal leaves the industriousness of bugs wars of weeds the affection rituals of animals and blind killings there has been no order just a sand-strewn course provided solace he quickly withdrew in a kingdom so unmistakable that not anyone dared ask him the shame of that flight CERNUNNOS the recent gods the Roman military at an honest distance, in order that the swaying of Venus’s hips and Bacchus’s out of control suits of laughter wouldn’t look too beside the point within the face of the cooling ashes and the our bodies of barbarian heroes being ceremonially buried through beetles and ants. The previous gods spied at the new ones from at the back of timber, with no sympathy yet with admiration. these faded, hairless our bodies appeared feeble yet oddly attractive. regardless of language problems it got here to a gathering at the heights. a couple of meetings made up our minds how spheres of effect have been to be divided. The previous gods contented themselves with second-rate jobs within the provinces. however, at the social gathering of larger celebrations they have been portrayed on carved stone (porous sandstone) including the conquering gods. It used to be Cernunnos who forged a true shadow in this collaboration. At his pals’ insistence he did take a Latin finishing, yet his spreading and evergrowing horns couldn't be coated up with any wreath. as a result he has generally resided in backwood parts. he's usually visible in dusky clearings. in a single hand he holds a snake with the pinnacle of a lamb; the opposite attracts thoroughly incomprehensible symptoms within the air. THE HILL dealing with THE PALACE The hill dealing with Minos’s palace is sort of a Greek theater tragedy leaning its again opposed to the impetuous slope rows of aromatic shrubs curious olive bushes applaud the ruins among nature and human destiny there is not any crucial connection the announcing that grass mocks disaster is a whim of the inconsolable and fickle a wierd case: immediately parallel traces won't ever intersect no longer even in infinity That’s all you could truthfully say approximately it SHORE She waits at the financial institution of a superb slow-moving river Charon is at the different part The sky glows turbidly (it isn’t a sky in any respect because it occurs) Charon is right here he has simply forged the ropes out over a department She (this soul) takes out the obol from less than her tongue the place it soured merely in brief sits down on the rear finish of the empty boat all this and not using a be aware if basically there have been a moon or a puppy howling CURATIA DIONISIA The stone is well-preserved An inscription (bad Latin) pronounces Curatia Dionisia lived forty-something years and raised this modest monument at her personal price her solitary ceremonial dinner maintains the cup held in midair the face with no smile The doves are too heavyset she spent the final years of her existence in Brittany close to the wall which introduced the barbarians to a halt in a castrum whose foundations and cellars live to tell the tale she was once engaged within the such a lot old girl perform in short yet in actual fact mourned by way of 3rd Legion infantrymen in addition to a undeniable aged officer she informed sculptors to put pillows below her elbow the dolphins and sea lions symbolize commute to far away lands although from the following it used to be not more than a number of steps to hell test on the DISSOLUTION OF MYTHOLOGY The gods amassed in a barracks simply outdoor city.

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