Born in 1967 in the Slovenian city of Koper, Miłosz Biedrzycki is a poet and translator. His works focus on the sensual experience of the world as well as the word. A touch of the underlying melancholy and sadness is noticeable, though usually softened with playful images that bring comic relief. Hence, the unique spirit of Biedrzycki’s poetry can be ascribed to an exceptionally wide range of the speaker’s emotions. Lyrical confessions are often communicated in allusive and ironic language which widens the possible scope of moods and feelings conveyed by the speaker.
Biedrzycki reveals his penchant for experimenting with language, using the overheard pieces of utterances, and letting rhetorical extravaganza loose, already in his first poetry collection (entitled *). Two of the book’s best-known poems enter into a peculiar dialogue with the Polish poetic tradition and cultural awareness. One of them, entitled Asklop, was seen in the 1990s as a proclamation of breaking with a particularly poignant style of Polish patriotic poetry. When read in reverse, the title word is “Polska” (Poland); the same technique is used for other words in the poem to encode the names of eminent Polish poets, e.g. “Diwron” (Norwid) and “Cziweżór” (Różewicz). In this way, Asklop provides a vehicle for the speaker amazed by the surrounding reality, as well as a playground for wordplay. In another poem, [Dobry wieczór, nazywam się Mickiewicz] (Good evening, my name’s Mickiewicz - Poland’s best-known 19th-century bard), the medium-like speaker takes part in a ghostly pilgrimage. The poem is evidently inspired by Cabala, an interest that resurfaces in 69, published 13 years later.
Biedrzycki’s poetry is not, however, just a testing ground for the communicative or expressive potential of language (as it is the case e.g. in early writings of New Wave artists). The speaker displays a positive, sensual, almost carnal relation to the words he utters. The ludic character and use of low registers of speech are reminiscent of poems by Miron Białoszewski, a Polish 20th-century writer. Biedrzycki and Białoszewski have even more in common, namely their reluctance to join the socially sanctioned adult world, and distancing themselves from the socially approved hierarchy of values. Indeed, the speaker of Biedrzycki’s poetry is a present-day nomad: his desire to experience the world is never satisfied. Wandering from place to place, he is nowhere at home and does not even attempt to settle down. Biedrzycki’s is the poetry of continual dislocations and displacements in terms of content and semantics alike.
- *, Kraków-Warszawa: Fundacja „brulionu”, 1993.
- OO, Kraków: Agencja Wydawnicza Zebra, 1994.
- Pył/Łyp, Warszawa: Fundacja „brulionu”, 1997.
- No i tak, Warszawa: Lampa i Iskra Boża, 2002.
- 69, Warszawa: ad.wers, 2006.
- wygrzebane (co-authored with Tomasz Majeran), Wrocław: Pomona, 2007.
- Sofostrofa i inne wiersze, Kraków: Wydawnictwo a5, 2007.
- Życie równikowe, Poznań: Wojewódzka Biblioteka Publiczna i Centrum Animacji Kultury w Poznaniu, 2010.
- 1122 do 33 (co-authored with Artur Płaczkiewicz), pArt Projects, 2012.
- 69, Brookline: Zephyr Press, 2010.
- Vrlina špargljev [Wybór poezji], trans. Katarina Salamun Biedrzycka, Lubljana: Lud Serpa, 2013
- Sonce na asfaltu/Słońce na asfalcie/Il sole sull'asfalto, Koper: Libris, 2003.