Showing posts from August, 2006

PIR 87

Dear Sir(r)

It has come to my attention that you purport to publish a poem of mine in PIR. In the manner of subject people everywhere, I wish to grudgingly thank you, and to use the occasion as an excuse to ask for more....
But first I wish to explicitly acknowledge that I now believe that it is possible to be an editor and a human being at the same time. This suspicion had been growing on me for some time, as The Cat Flap could not have been written by a complete bastard. . . I feel I've now traced the sources of my previously unpositive attitude to you: you didn't previously publish my many offerings; you obviously had a serious Montale phase (but who am I to judge: I had a serious Neruda phase; after a while, however, like Catholicism and Communism, it went away, leaving, like them, a certain positive residue; and your, eh, sirrname, operating no doubt at a subliminal and psychological level, caused me to see you as rather aloof, cold, distant, etc.

A brief sample from the Ca…

Getting it right

Another commonplace book entry, offered as encouragement.


Death will not correct
a single line of verse
she is no proof-reader
she is no sympathetic
lady editor

a bad metaphor is immortal

a shoddy poet who has died
is a shoddy dead poet

a bore bores after death
a fool keeps up his foolish chatter
from beyond the grave

Tadeusz Rózewicz
translated from the Polish by Adam Czerniawski