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Without End: New and Selected Poems Paperback – Mar 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux; 1ST edition (Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374528616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374528614
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.3 x 20.8 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,589,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Superb Poetry 8 April 2002
By Flounder - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a marvelous collection of poetry. It earns my highest recommendation. Zagajewski is one of the more interesting poets on the scene today.
This collection opens with "To See": "I had to see, and not to just know, to see clearly the sight and fires of a single world...my brethren in the shallow sand; the earth still turns above you...."
Other lovely poems are: "Dead Sparrow," "Speak Softly," "December," "Death of a Pianist," "Twenty Five Years," "The World's Prose," "Treatise on Emptiness," Try to Praise a Mutilated World," and "The Creation of the World."
Z's verse is economic and spare. His word craft creates deep images that are world-conscious, and they offer us a phenomenal awareness of ourselves. A good poet begins in metaphysical wonderment, and that is fulfilled here.
It seems that Z. looks past our blinking lids and bloodshot eyes to witness the barren cavity in which the human soul resides. And when that examination is found wanting in the discovery of spiritual emptiness, we look to the world and see ragged refugees on detoured paths to nowhere.
I also recommend: R. Hass, B. Collins, Z. Herbert, C. Milosz, R. Jeffers, S. Heaney, A. Rich, and W. Szymborska.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding Poetry 4 Mar 2006
By Martin H. Dickinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Wow--this is really something. Zagajewski's work is terrific and this collection brings together poems from a number of this talented and insightful poet's works. If you want insight, irony, surprise and wit in your poetry, Zagajewski's really got it. My favorite is his his 11-line poem "The Soul."

We know we're not allowed to use your name.

We know you're inexpressible,

anemic, frail, and suspect . . .

But yes--the soul exists--refusing to go away. You know, poetry books these days can cost quite alot, and you find you've read through them in a sitting. I'm not really complaining--the price of a movie has gone up, too, and I never turn down going to a movie because of it. But this book is a huge value--278 pages of fantastic poems.

It's impossible to comment on the quality of the translations, given that I don't know Polish--but the fact that they are such good poetry even after translation says alot. Two of the translators, Benjamin Ivry and C.K. Williams are poets and Williams a Pulitzer Prize winner.

This is poetry of rare insight and power.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Drops of eternity, grams of amazement 16 Feb 2008
By Thomas E. Defreitas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The masterpiece of the volume is perhaps "To Go to Lvov," a poem that contains some bold strokes of language :

if lances of trees
-- of poplar and ash -- still breathe aloud
like Indians, and if streams mumble
their dark Esperanto, and grass snakes like soft signs
in the Russian language disappear
into thickets.

The poem called "Autumn" gives us a view not mellow or pastoral, but one which compares the season to death; more to the point, to an invading "Red Army" with "cold bayonets" and a "keen sickle."

In "You Are My Silent Brethren," addressed to the dead, we have these lines :

You'd think it would be easy, living.
All you need is a fistful of earth, a boat, a nest, a jail,
a little breath, some drops of blood, and longing.

Another poem asks, "What is salvation if there is no threat?"

Poets are depicted as "literary rats," "an atheist epoch's Benedictines, missionaries of easy despair" who are :

compensated in small, worthless gold coin,
and with the moment of bliss when metaphor's flame
welds two free-floating objects, when a hawk lands,
or a tax inspector makes the sign of the cross.

On a small scale, there is the poignant poem "Fruit," dedicated to Czeslaw Milosz, and of a quiet, sad magnificence. We will not quote from it, but will recommend it to the reader for its muted excellence.

There is much that is elegiac here (tributes to Joseph Brodsky, Zbigniew Herbert, Franz Schubert, and in many poems, the month of September), but there is also -- frequently -- the abrupt verbal startlement we associate with the comic. There are phrases here and there that remind us of the light, deft surrealism of say, Charles Simic, who blurbs this book; but Zagajewski's achivement, to this reader's mind, surpasses Simic's. Zagajewski is agile, audacious, and we feel, profoundly serious ("Try to Praise the Mutilated World").

It is perhaps unjust to Zagajewski to attempt a review after only a second reading of this collection; so, this review may be edited further as more excellences are uncovered and imprinted upon the mind.
You must praise the mutilated world 19 Nov 2013
By Harper Curtis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A beautiful, touching collection by a fine poet. Zagajewski is witty, humorous, intelligent. He is able to write personal poems without sentimentality. An example to learn from.
Here you can read his poem, "Self-Portrait":
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
a book i bought 25 Sep 2010
By kowaleon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the book was in great condition. brand new like it said. the shipping was kind of slow, but i wasn't really in a hurry to get it anyway. other than that this person was true to their product description.
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