We are reaching the point when we have to create
warp and weft. And the weft’s stupid. It’ll shuttle ahead
blindly. The silence is an inherent part of history.
Surplus daughters are organically fastened to the machine.
They’ve abandoned the rhythm of the soil, of sowing
and harvesting, of seasons and vegetation
to get a life determined by production.
City, machine, factory’s work.
Their lips red, their bodies below
wrapped in rags, and just one thought – to eat. To eat something.
This is not self-development. It’s a necessity.
This is how you break the tenacity of girls, they will not
learn how to protect their honour anyway. In dark factories
they will lose their eyesight faster than in dark kitchens.
Another hundred waiting to replace you all.
The three Ks. Kapusta, kartofle, kasza*.
As if women equated with crossing
the final line of patience.
By Dominika Lewicka-Klucznik
Translated by Anna Blasiak
* Polish for: cabbage, potatoes, groats.
Dominika Lewicka-Klucznik is a Polish poet, editor and reviewer. She has published four poetry collection. She was also published in anthologies, literary magazines. She runs a blog as well as a community literary workshop project Pogotowie W@rsztatowe.
Anna Blasiak is a poet, writer, translator, reviewer and managing editor of the European Literature Network. She has recently translated Maciej Hen’s According to Her, shortlisted to the 2023 EBRD Literature Prize. She has 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 in Anna Blasiak.
Photo by Lisa Kalloo
Check out the Poetry Travels book list on bookshop.org.
Read previous poems in the Poetry Travels series:
BAGS by Blerina Rogova Gaxha, translated by Vlora Konushevci
TONGUEFISH by Yolanda Castaño, translated by Keith Payne
WHAT DO YOU NEED by Friederike Mayröcker, translated by Christina Daub
A WORK OF BIOGRAPHY by Max Jacob, translated by Ian Seed
UNTITLED POEM by Ivano Fermini, translated by Ian Seed
AGAINST TRAVEL. FOR DANA by Rachel Levitsky
LIGHT by Vasyl Makhno, translated by Olena Jennings
A MESSAGE FROM THE ISLE OF WIGHT by Wioletta Greg, translated by Maria Jastrzębska and Anna Blasiak
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