Astonishments: Selected Poems of Anna Kamienska (Paperback)

Astonishments: Selected Poems of Anna Kamienska Cover Image
By Anna Kamienska, David Curzon (Translated by), Grazyna Drabik (Editor)
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Kamienska came of age during the horrors of the Nazi occupation of Poland and lived under Communism. These experiences, as well as the sudden death of her husband, led her to engagement with the Bible and the great religious thinkers of the 20th century.   Her poems record the struggles of a rational mind with religious faith, addressing loneliness and uncertainty in a remarkably direct, unsentimental manner. Her spiritual quest has resulted in extraordinary poems on Job, other biblical personalities, and victims of the Holocaust. Other poems explore the meaning of loss, grief, and human life. Still, her poetry expresses a fundamentally religious sense of gratitude for her own existence and that of other human beings, as well as for myriad creatures, such as hedgehogs, birds and “young leaves willing to open up to the sun.”   

About the Author

Anna Kamienska (1920-1986) was a major Polish writer and a recognized peer of the Nobel Prize winners Wislawa Szymborska and Czeslaz Milosz. She left a rich legacy of twenty books of poetry, two volumes of Notebooks (a short-hand record of her readings and self-questioning), two volumes of commentaries on the Bible, and other writings and translations.

Praise For…

“Kamienska, a major Polish writer, and equal to Nobel Prize winners Wislawa Szymborska and Czeslaw Milosz, grew up in the horrors of Nazi occupation and Communism. Her poetry is straightforward, full of empathy and self-discovery. It describes ordinary things - harvest time, childhood, grammer, and laundry on the balcony line. The death of her husband left her depressed and she sought the bible and other religious thinkers of the twentieth century. One line illustrates her thought processes and deep feelings over the loss of her husband. ‘I still cannot believe in his death. Someone who loved so much, couldn't die. So is he alive?’ But it also led to a religious experience. The last part of the book contains extracts from her notebooks from 1965 to 1979. Her last poem was written three days before her death - writing of God and death.” —Polish American Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9781557255990
ISBN-10: 1557255997
Publisher: Paraclete Press
Publication Date: April 1st, 2008
Pages: 144
Language: English
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