Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday Muse: Tadeusz Rozewicz's 'Pigtail'

Below is an animation, using multiple voices, of the late Tadeusz Rozewicz's poem "Pigtail", written in 1948 and published in Tadeusz Rozewicz: They Came to See a Poet (Anvil Press Poetry, 1991; 3rd edition, 2011). The animation is by Dawid Jagusiak. The translation used in the film is by Adam Czerniawski. 

"Pigtail", a poem about the hair shaved from the heads of "all the women in the transport" is notable for its stark clarity and the indelible image at its conclusion of "a faded plait / a pigtail with a ribbon. . . ."

An award-winning poet, playwright, and novelist, Rozewicz, regarded as one of Poland's finest writers, died April 24, 2014. (Read The New York Times obituary.) 

Highly admired worldwide, Rozewicz's lyrical, unadorned, deeply honest poems can be found in Sobbing Superpower: Selected Poems of Tadeusz Rosewicz (W.W. Norton, 2011; paperback, 2013), new poems (Archipelago, 2007), Conversation with the Prince and Other Poems (Anvil Press, 1982), Unease (New Rivers Press, 1980), Selected Poems (Penguin, 1976), The Survivor and Other Poems (Princeton University Press, 1976), and Faces of Anxiety (Rapp & Whiting, 1969), among other works.

Other poems by Rozewicz at the Legacy Project: "Massacre of the Boys" (1948), "The Survivor", and "In the Midst of Life". Rozewicz's famous lines "I am twenty-four / led to slaughter / I survived. . . ." are from his poem "The Survivor".

Two poems, "The moon shines" and "Abattoirs" from They Came to See a Poet are here. "Pigtail" also can be found at Anvil Press Poetry; go here.

Read "Fuse Remembrance: Polish Poet and Dramatist Radeusz Rozewicz—The Prophet of the Partial, the Herald of the Unfinished", The Arts Fuse, May 22, 2014.

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