Tomasz Różycki

Translated from Polish by Mira Rosenthal

A throw of dice can easily upend one’s luck, just toss them long enough, as you know, right? You know about such things. Perhaps an epoch is not quite long enough, nor one whole life,

for pattern, order to emerge from numbers. Better to look from far away. There’s isolated shards of the world still lying here well after Thursday’s explosion, when at last the ancient frame

cracked and the mirror broke into so many fragments that now the face can’t create its arrangement of lines, its twists of tenderness — a puzzle of four elements now infused with a fifth, darkness.

And I sat throughout the night, with the song of cars outside, and tried to piece together the dust, flashes, bits into a new reflection, but time had already dispersed the original features.

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.