PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing ‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing
(PN Review 236)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott 1930–2017
(PN Review 235)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Oxford University Press
Gratis Ad 1
Next Issue Kei Miller on poetry and volume control Parwana Fayyaz's Afghan poems Gabriel Josipovici bids farewell to Aharon Appelfeld Craig Raine plants a flag A.R. Ammons from two angles

This review is taken from PN Review 10, Volume 6 Number 2, November - December 1979.

EAST AND WEST Tadeusz Rózewicz, The Survivor, parallel text, translated by Magnus J. Krynski and Robert A. Maguire (Princeton University Press) £10.50, paperback £3
Zbigniew Herbert, Selected Poems, translated by John and Bogdana Carpenter (O.U.P.) £2.75
Max Jacob, Advice to a Young Poet (Menard Press) 75p.
Miklos Radnoti, The Witness, translated by Thomas Orszag Land, (Tern Press) 75p.

Rózewicz is the leading poet of the Polish "war generation" for whom the experience of the Pogroms and the Warsaw Uprising shattered any belief in humanity. To Rózewicz, what we understand to be the positive cultural tradition is diseased and its art an indulgence and an insult to his experience. For him the only justifiable artistic activity is anti-art. Yet it is a mistake to look for a consistent approach in his work. While he rejects "Culture" he is capable of writing poems full of cultural references. He despairs of mankind yet he would like to write a poetry which is functional, which leaves behind the absurd of Camus and is at the same time nostalgic for the old moral order. And so on. Some of his work is unpalatably didactic and has an unconvincingly hectoring tone. The same thoughts and attitudes are transformed in poems which deal with his own particular experience; here the inconsistency becomes a virtue, an openness of mind which does not allow itself to be limited by polemic. And so, paradoxically, although he believes the old artistic order to be chasing a chimera, and to be solipsistic in its approach, he is most convincing when he works within this very tradition.

This selection, since it also prints the Polish, necessarily gives us fewer poems than the Penguin published in 1976 and is not exactly cheap, but it does include two examples-"Falling" and "Continuous Performances"-of the longer collage poems which Rózewicz wrote in ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image