Postcard in an envelope

Postcard in an Envelope

                                  for D.F.

it’s called the literary life, then needlessly translated
into real life. the translation’s an exegesis –
a kind of recycling. means you can say “action!” without anxiety.

past gestures: she’s carrying plastic cups of wine,
not thinking of three in a bed,
head still full of Art. she’s on a train,

in tears, walking, taking taxis.
doing it in smart hotels, in ordinary hotels, in apartments,
on the floor, in thought, with others, on the telephone –

imaginary examples, since my gift’s the microscope
not opera glasses.
our colleagues are expert in translation.
there’s the getting ready, there are the launch, the dedications and a postcard of                                                                                                                                                    Juliet.

there’s stupid jealousy over a past we can’t hold onto (or back),
there are shame and understanding, a getaway in the Owl Mountains,
the editors of a widely-read periodical, sudden estrangement

and the first Christmas a without a card. I lift my gaze,
the sky’s empty, it doesn’t fall. and this is the visible world,
the one where we can still be in touch.


Translated by Fiona Sampson

Marta Podgórnik

literary critic, translator, editor

Marta Podgórnik – born in 1979. Poet, literary critic, translator, editor. Winner of the Jacek Bierezin Prize (1996) for the best debut (Próby negocjacji [Attempts at Negotiation], Łódź 1996). Her works Paradiso (2000), Długi maj [The Long May] (2004), Opium i Lament [Opium and Lament] (2005), Dwa do Jeden [Two to One] (2006), Pięć opakowań [Five Packages] (2008) have been published by Biuro Literackie. Her 2011 work Rezydencja surykatek [The Meerkat Residence] won the Gdynia Literary Award (2012) and was nominated for the Wrocław Silesius Poetry Award, the K.I. Gałczyński Orfeusz Award, and the Gryfia Literary Prize. In 2012, a selection of her poems, Nic o mnie nie wiesz [You Know Nothing About Me], edited by Roman Honet. The premiere of her latest book Zawsze [Always] took place at the beginning of 2015. She was a recipient of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage scholarship. Author of a selection of poetry by Maria Jasnorzewska-Pawlikowska and Kora Sipowicz, co-editor of the almanacs of the youngest Polish poetry (part of the “Połów” project). Participant of translation workshops and projects in Krakow, Germany, Romania, and Slovenia. Translated and published in the Czech Republic, Spain, Israel, Japan, Russia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine, Hungary, and Great Britain. Connected with Wrocław publisher Biuro Literackie, where she is responsible for the debut department. She lives in the Silesia region.

Pic. W. Swierdzewski