Poland’s Adam Zagajewski, who died aged 75 within the southern Polish metropolis of Krakow on Sunday, was recognized for poems and essays laced with historical past and humour and for his shyness.
With bushy eyebrows and heat eyes, he was a person of few phrases regardless of being well-versed in English, French, German and his native Polish.
Henryk Wozniakowski, head of Poland’s revered Znak publishing home, as soon as described him as a person of “refined” intelligence and humour who was “additionally shy, similar to the late Wislawa Szymborska, one other Krakow poet and the 1996 Nobel literature laureate.”
Zagajewski divided his time between Poland and the US, the place he taught literature on the College of Chicago and is called “the poet of 9/11”.
He earned the moniker after the New Yorker journal chosen one among his poems — “Attempt to Reward the Mutilated World” — for the ultimate web page of its particular difficulty on the September 11 terrorist assaults on the US.
“You have seen the refugees going nowhere,/ you have heard the executioners sing joyfully,” reads the poem he wrote months earlier than the Twin Towers fell.
“It’s best to reward the mutilated world.”
– Unusual cities and strangers –
Zagajewski was born on June 21, 1945 in Lviv, not lengthy earlier than the Polish metropolis grew to become part of Ukraine and his household was compelled to relocate to Poland’s Silesia area.
He later moved to Krakow, Poland’s southern cultural capital, the place he studied psychology and philosophy at Jagiellonian College.
He was a distinguished member of the Polish New Wave literary motion, impressed by the post-war communist regime’s brutal suppression of a wave of pupil protests throughout Poland in March 1968.
The communists inspired writers to present readings to blue-collar employees and Zagajewski dutifully complied initially of his profession.
However by 1975, he had joined fellow intellectuals to protest in opposition to the regime’s resolution to inscribe Poland’s “everlasting alliance” with the Soviet Union within the nation’s structure. That acquired him blacklisted.
But it didn’t cease him from writing.
He composed unrhymed poems that spanned matters from human feelings to city landscapes and referred to as to thoughts the works of Hegel or Kierkegaard.
His recognition grew.
“He fought in opposition to communism however is principally a thinker,” his French translator Laurence Dyevre instructed AFP.
Zagajewski moved to Paris in 1982, quickly after Poland’s final communist chief, Common Wojciech Jaruzelski, tried to strangle Solidarity, the Soviet bloc’s first free commerce union with a brutal army crackdown.
“I stay in unusual cities and typically speak/ with strangers about issues unusual to me,” Zagajewski wrote in “Self-Portrait”, a poem printed whereas he was dwelling in France.
“I prefer to take lengthy walks on Paris streets/ and watch my fellow creatures, quickened by envy,/ anger, need.”
By the point he returned to Krakow in 2002, he had earned a number of awards and honours, together with the Neustadt Worldwide Prize for Literature, the Prix de la Liberte and a Guggenheim Fellowship.