Tomasz Różycki

Translated from Polish by Mira Rosenthal

Here on the sand just for you I’ve written some words that, by some miracle, survived this plague, gone rampant in the capital again amid the multiplying sums, a novel virus

bred from senselessness that spreads to terms, syntax. How dark the winter! How many working smokestacks our era has! What smoke they make, released into the atmosphere with complete impunity

come four o’clock. The greatest threat to the state of your face is not ash but distraction. You must focus, remember details: a view of mountain peaks mirrored on the eyelid, a bay that cradles

your body like a warm embrace. If you can see me, it means the stove’s still lit. I’m feeding it these moments, one by one. The flame agrees: I am (life, the hiss of chemistry, the whine of applied physics).

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.