Trafika Europe 2 - Polish Nocturne
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74

Six poems

Ewa Chrusciel

Poet and translator Ewa Chrusciel

has two books in Polish,

Furkot

and

Sopilki,

and two books in English:

Strata

, and the just-published

Contraband of Hoopoe .

Jorie Graham writes:

The excitement one experiences reading the Polish and American poet

Ewa Chrusciel's new book is hard to describe. If one made an amalgam of

Darwin, early Hejinian, Byzantine art, Near Eastern books of wisdom,

Ponge, Pavese, sacred Hopi and Amerindian texts, one still wouldn't be

able to come up with the magical contraband this vessel is carrying. It is

thrilling, wild and salvific. The book is written by an immigrant, and that

immigrant is the human being. All is a source of wonder and horror to

this species. It is looking everywhere for clues as to what borders are—

what they are for, what happens when one breaches them, who does one

become when one adopts the mannerisms, the habits, the intelligence of

one's hosts. What is the host. In poems seeking safe passage through

institutions secular and transcendent, through signals given us by the

natural world, by habit, custom, sign, disguise, these urgent works

explode onto the American poetic landscape. Authenticity emanates from

every word, as well as originality, sassy humor and bracing images,

objects, rituals, and queries from cultures in every old world trying to find

right translation into this so-called new one. I would listen closely to

what the ancient and near-extinct Hoopoe conveys. It really knows

something crucial.