Evening, Stary Sacz

By Adam Zagajewski b. 1945 Adam Zagajewski

Translated By Clare Cavanagh

The sun sets behind the market square, and the nettle leaves reflect   
the small town’s imperfections. Teapots whistle in the houses,   
like many trains departing simultaneously.   
Bonfires flame on meadows and their long sighs   
weave above the trees like drifting kites.   
The last pilgrims return from the church uncertainly.
TV sets awaken, and instantly know all,   
like the demons of Alexandria with swindlers’ swarthy faces.   
Knives descend on bread, on sausage, on wood, on offerings.   
The sky grows darker; angels used to hide there,   
but now it’s just the police sergeant and his dear departed motorcycle.   
Rain falls, the cobbled streets grow black.   
Little abysses open between the stones.

Source: Poetry (June 2006).

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2006 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2006
 Adam  Zagajewski

Biography

Adam Zagajewski was born in Lvov, Poland, in 1945; as an infant he was relocated with his family to western Poland. He lived in Berlin for a couple of years, moved to France in 1982, and has taught at universities in the United States, including the University of Houston and the University of Chicago. Zagajewski writes in Polish; many of his books of poetry and essays have been translated into English.

Zagajewski was considered . . .

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POET’S REGION Poland

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