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Journal, Day Five July 28, 2006: Owing to time and space limitations, I’ve been able unable to discuss all items in the rich Kraków Poetry Seminars curriculum. There was, for example, a superb lecture by University of Houston Professor David Mikics about Auden’s well-known “September 1, 1939” and the much more lighthearted poem, “Heavy Date,” which he wrote less than [...] by

Journal, Day Four July 27, 2006: One purpose of the Kraków Poetry Seminars is to bridge American and Polish poetry cultures. Towards that end, the two major readings of the week, reviewed on this site by Bradford Gray Telford, featured both American and Polish poets reading their own poems and one another’s in translation. In the classroom, this circuit was made through two [...] by

Journal, Day Three July 26, 2006: “Poets with History and Poets without History” In his poem “To Whistler, American,” Ezra Pound referred to his fellow countrymen as a “mass of dolts.” He was expressing an insecurity about American poetry that continues to this day: the new world simply lacks the history, the centuries of cultural achievement, to nurture (and [...] by

Journal, Day Two July 25, 2006: You whom I could not save Listen to me. Try to understand this simple speech as I would be ashamed of another. I swear, there is in me no wizardry of words. I speak to you with silence like a cloud or a tree. —Czesław Miłosz, “Dedication,” (Warsaw, 1945) Truth in literature has been a vexing problem at [...] by

Journal, Day One July 24, 2006: Although they take place immediately after the school year, when many writers repair to Vermont, Italy, Greece, or other creative writing capitals, it’s hard to think of the Kraków Poetry Seminars as a writers’ retreat. How many such literary refuges, after all, include a visit to Auschwitz? How many can offer a tour of Kazimierz, the once [...] by