Issue > Poetry
Jennifer Grotz

Jennifer Grotz

Jerzy Ficowski (1924-2006) was a prolific poet, songwriter, and scholar.  Recent translations of his poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, The Nation, New York Review of Books, and elsewhere.

Jennifer Grotz's most recent book of poems is Window Left Open. She is director of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conferences.

Piotr Sommer is the author of Continued (Wesleyan University Press) and Overdoing It (Hobart and William Smith Colleges Press). His collected poems, Po Ciemku Tez, (Also In The Dark)) appeared in Poland in 2013.

Fish on the Sand

(By Jerzy Ficowski translated from the Polish)

From the waters that inertly
the gasping fish
thrown ashore
extinguishes, kindles
its pink gills,
pierces into us the hobnail
of its silver eye.

Let's kill it
with a silent knife.

So it won't wake us up
on the bank of night
with its howling.


(By Jerzy Ficowski translated from the Polish)

I who am absent ask  
please turn off the text messages
stop licking stamps
don't call
starting today I have in me
too little of myself
I won't say a word
not a word

my word
my not a word
using this moment of inattention
has stopped to mean
I'm not looking for it

I who am absent
still understand
the fluid narrative of clouds

they fly and draw from themselves
the furthest-reaching
conclusions and consequences  
across the sky

o cloud cloud and cloud
unlike yourself
the same


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