One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Stanislaw Baranczak (1946 - 2014)

I believe the first time I saw his name (and perhaps Milosz, Herbert, and Szymborska's too) was when I bought (over twenty years ago) the slender volume: Polish Poetry of the Last Two Decades of Communist Rule: Spoiling Cannibals' Fun. A great intro to modern Polish poetry. Baranczak is one of the editors, but I believe a poem or so of his is there also (I'm too lazy to dig the book out of my "stacks," which are buried in the closet).


Milosz mentions him briefly in the epilogue (probably added for the second edition) of his The History of Polish Literature (this book was more "at hand"):

Surprisingly, the most-discussed books of the period were literary essays and poetry: a volume of essays by the young poet and scholar Stanislaw Baranczak (born 1946), The Mistrustful and the Presumptuous...


From Wiki:

Stanisław Barańczak (November 13, 1946 – December 26, 2014) was a poet, literary critic, scholar, editor, translator and lecturer.[1] He is perhaps most well known for his English-to-Polish translations of the dramas of William Shakespeare and of the poetry of E.E. Cummings, Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson, Wystan Hugh Auden, Seamus Heaney, Thomas Hardy, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Thomas Stearns Eliot, John Keats, Robert Frost, Edward Lear and others.

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