In spite of you, the Solent
which used to be a hill
covered with moss and dwarf willow.
The tenth generation of the swallowtail
has shimmered in the garden since you moved here,
the succulent fig tree defies you,
as you hide in a dark room, and strives for sun.
The moth asleep on the rafter, reveals
a map of a different world on its wing.
Ivy on Victorian walls
sends you a message in dewdrops.
The whole island, though vanishing, does not dare
to doubt the smallest grain of sand.
You, girl, swallow Tramadol
and turn prescriptions into paper boats,
too scared to sail in them out to sea.
By Wioletta Greg
Translated by Maria Jastrzębska and Anna Blasiak
Wioletta Greg (Grzegorzewska) is a poet and prose writer. Her fiction books include Swallowing Mercury (2017, tr. E. Marciniak; long listed to the Man Booker International), Accommodations (2019, tr, Jennifer Croft), Dodatkowa dusza (2020; Additional Soul) and Wilcza rzeka (2021; The Wolf River). Her volume of poetry Finite Formulae & Theories of Chance (2014, tr. Marek Kazimierski) was shortlisted for The Griffin Poetry Prize.
Poet, editor and translator Maria Jastrzębska co- translated Elsewhere by Iztok Osojnik (Pighog Press) and translated Justyna Bargielska’s The Great Plan B (Smokestack Press). Recently she was writer for Snow Q cross-arts project. Her fifth collection Small Odysseys is now out with Waterloo Press (2022). www.mariajastrzebska.wordpress.com
Anna Blasiak is a poet, writer, translator, journalist. She has recently co-translated Renia’s Diary by Renia Spiegel and also published a bilingual poetry and photography book (with Lisa Kalloo) Kawiarnia przy St James’s Wrena w porze lunchu / Café by Wren’s St-James-in-the-Fields, Lunchtime, as well as a book-length interview with a Holocaust survivor Lili. Lili Stern-Pohlmann in conversation with Anna Blasiak. annablasiak.com
Photo by Lisa Kalloo
Check out the Poetry Travels book list on bookshop.org.
Read previous poems from Poetry Travels:
HOME by Nataša Sardžoska, translated by the Author
ONLY THE BEGINNING COUNTS (4) by Jan Baeke, translated by Antoinette Fawcett
*** (RABID WINDS) by Gerður Kristný, translated by Rory McTurk
ANSWER TO THE PRAYERS by Vainius Bakas, translated by Kerry Shawn Keys
AGGRESSOR’S MONOLOGUE by Artūras Valionis, translated by Jura Avizienis
THAT’S ALL by Jurgita Jasponytė, translated by Jura Avizienis
UNTITLED by Linas Umbrasas, translated by Audra Skukauskaitė
FIRST SPRING OF THE WAR by Vytautas Kaziela, translated by Jura Avizienis
A LETTER TO A CHILD by Lina Buidavičiutė, translated by Ada Valaitis
UNTITLED by Aneta Kamińska, translated by Anna Blasiak
TWO LYRICS OF LOVE AND MEMORY by Lina Kostenko, translated by Stephen Komarnyckyj
CROW STUDY by Yuri Andrukhovych, translated by John Hennessy and Ostap Kin
UNTITLED POEM by Serhiy Zhadan, translated by John Hennessy and Ostap Kin
UNTITLED POEM by Ludmila Khersonsky, translated by Maya Chhabra
UNTITLED POEM by Iryna Vikyrchak
From THE ANDROMEDA NEBULA by Anna Gréki, translated by Souheila Haïmiche and Cristina Viti
TEAPOT by Nurduran Duman, translated by Andrew Wessels
IT’S COMING AGAIN by Michael Strunge, translated by Paul Russell Garrett
REPORT FROM ANOTHER CITY by Marcin Niewirowicz, translated by the Author
INTERIOR by Ana Blandiana, translated by Paul Scott Derrick and Viorica Patea
THIS IS LOVE by Joanna Fligiel, translated by Anna Blasiak
REVELATION IN H&M by Menno Wigman, translated by David Colmer
*** (I WANT TO FOLD THIS DAY) by Inga Pizāne, translated by Jayde Will
THE SIEGE by Marcin Świetlicki, translated by Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese
FISH by Jana Putrle Srdić, translated by Barbara Jurša
THE WELL by Maarja Pärtna, translated by Jayde Will
THE SHADOW by Pentti Saarikoski, translated by Emily Jeremiah and Fleur Jeremiah
A FAREWELL TO MY DEAD CLASS by Irit Amiel, translated by Anna Blasiak and Marta Dziurosz
THE GIRLS IN BERGEN-BELSEN by Nora Gomringer, translated by Annie Rutherford
DECEMBER, by Jaume Subirana, translated by Christopher Whyte
ROSE RED, by Ulrike Almut Sandig, translated by Karen Leeder
*** (I D[R]IPPED MY PEN…) by Mario Martín Gijón, translated by Terence Dooley
WHAT COMES by Magda Cârneci, translated by Adam J. Sorkin and Mădălina Bănucu
TRANSLATION by Justyna Bargielska, translated by Maria Jastrzębska
*** (MY EYES, DENSE NIGHT…) by Gëzim Hajdari, translated by Ian Seed