I found Michael Hofmann's impassioned essay-review on the translations of the poetry of Zbigniew Herbert an exhilarating introduction to someone new to me. The only Herbert I have known till now was my old friend George. Now there's this Pole, clearly a master whose work I will have to find, and certainly in earlier translations. Hofmann's furious intensity of language in his praise for Herbert and in his wrenched sadness about the new translation struck me as compellingly persuasive. It's downright exciting to read commentary by someone who holds strong beliefs about what makes good poetry and is not shy about expressing them, someone who cares as deeply as Hofmann does about what matters.
Coral Gables, Florida