Trafika Europe 2 - Polish Nocturne

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.


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