Tomasz Różycki

To Mykhailo Havryliuk and the Heavenly Hundred
Translated from Polish by Mira Rosenthal

What else to write? How they use fire to defend themselves against the winter dark. The city burns, so they take flesh and blood and turn it into a second city inside, with walls of breath. If winter turns

away, the Tsar will wage war against the protesters with metal tanks, false words, and heaps of cash. How there are those who lead a naked man into the snow and beat him, whistle, put a broom into his hand

and coo: just try to Hetman us, you Cossack. Then they order him to pose in their selfies with tarry smoke and brown smudges on snow, staunch proportions in the background. Or how about that moment in the morgue

when, after several hours, all the cell phones placed on the blood-stained table in the hall suddenly began to ring at once, showing the call, the same word flashing on every screen: Mom.

Mira Rosenthal is the author of The Local World, winner of the Wick Poetry Prize, and Territorial, 2022 Pitt Poetry Series selection. Her translation of Tomasz Różycki’s Colonies won the Northern California Book Award. Her other honors include an NEA Fellowship, a Stegner Fellowship, a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Award, two Fulbright Fellowships, and a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies.

Tomasz Różycki is the author of many books of poetry and prose, most recently the volume Ręka pszczelarza and the essay collection Próba ognia: Błędna kartografia Europy. Over the last decade he has garnered almost every prize Poland has to offer as well as widespread critical acclaims. His volume Litery (in Mira Rosenthal’s translation) is forthcoming in 2023 from Archipelago Books.