Poland-related poem

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Rendition

Can I translate the waves of Lake Michigan
into the Śniardwy’s squall or Skanda’s ripples?
The deep carpets of grass in Evanston’s parks
into chamomiles, nettles, and weed thickets?

And can I transcribe the crimson cardinal
Into the charcoal “szpak” or olive “dzwoniec,”
or move the gray squirrels (when I dye them red)
from the town’s squares to the Mazurian forests?

So powerfully space and time interlace
—abandon one, you will distort the other.
Dogs don’t speak Polish here nor do the birds;
the black currant does not bloom—it can talk to no one.

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Reading THE RED BOOK

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While reading The Red Book by C.G. Jung, I begin to understand why some modern scholars (and religious leaders!) can see this work as a bit of an embarrassment.  Not only, through evoking myth, does The Red Book fly in the face of modern rationalism on the one hand, and the established “concepts of God” on the other.  It awakens (and subverts!) both the heroic and the shameful in us.

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Just published

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Poem “The Choice” in Time of Singing (Vol.41, No. 1, Spring 2014).

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Happy Poetry Month!

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* * *

a group of people
push their way
onto a crowded bus

a three-year-old boy
exclaims:

finally
we are riding together
the whole family!

_________________________________
© Joanna Kurowska
Poem first published in Strong Verse

Read more poems by Joanna Kurowska

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How did I happen to write poetry first in Polish, then in English?

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There’s a little bit of irony in that I was invited to America just before the great political changes in Central Europe and the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Soon after I came to America, “America” came to Poland, so to speak. But especially my parents were full of hopes for me and my son, then seven-year old. They thought we would have better prospects in the USA. So off we went, Paul and I, with two suitcases, a backpack, a guitar, four hundred words in English (learned within a month before our departure), and forty dollars—to start our new life with…

To read more, please check out my interview at Cervena Barva Press website.

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