Somewhere else

Ewa Lipska
Somewhere else
  • Wydawnictwo Literackie
    Kraków 2005
    127 x 223
    55 pages
    ISBN 83-08-03688-0

In Ewa Lipska’s poetry, familiar, ordinary words are combined into metaphoric compounds that combine to form an unsettling, neurotic image-poem, as in “He”, an essay in miniature about God and the institution of religion, which ends with the tercet:

The haunted bridge rises upwards.
Beneath it lies a foaming hell of water.
The crash of hope falling.

Of course, you could say the impression of eeriness comes from the subject matter of the poem. But similar feelings are stirred by poems that on the surface seem neutral or even idyllic, because Lipska’s art gives vent to a horror that is unwanted and repulsive, but irremovable and unavoidable.

- Marcin Baran

My Translators

My translators. Them. My continuation.
My – Their
stack of time on the table.
The preserved fruits of dictionaries.

A morning in Cyrillic
in suede Germanic mist.
A Romance antelope
at the edge of my poem.

My – Their
journeys.
Another path à rebours
without any reason.

The transplantation of words
by my surgeons. Theirs.
Untranslatable
into this short epic.
But I love myself in so many languages at once.
Letter by letter I drink in the moisture in Nässjö
as I come across my illegitimate poems in the woods.

My – Their
Voices. Vacillations from behind books.
Prophecies out of the chasm of pages.
Syllables taking off from Heathrow.

What do they inherit from me?
My fear? My appetite
for everything short-lived?
For a meadow’s low-cut neckline? Purple fields of amethysts?

When all around
there’s my – Their
leaky reality. Heaven for hackers
gossips and politicians.


Translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones