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Tadeusz Rozewicz

Tadeusz Różewicz is widely considered to be the most influential post-war Polish poet. He has published over twenty volumes of poetry, and is a major playwright, essayist, and fiction writer. He lives in Wrocław, Poland. Sobbing Superpower: Selected Poems of Tadeusz Różewicz, translated and annotated by Joanna Trzeciak, will be published by Norton in 2010.



I’m twenty-four Led to slaughter I survived. These words are empty and equivalent: man and animal love and hate foe and friend dark and light. Man is killed just like an animal I’ve seen: truckloads of chopped up people who will ne [...]

The Story of Old Women

I like old women ugly women mean women they are the salt of the earth they are not disgusted by human waste they know the flipside of the coin of love of faith dictators clown around come and go hands stained with human blood [...]


When it rains I lie flat spread out distant in a fog I feel wet twigs of blackthorn stretched out under my skin gnarled prickly black the capillarity of blood vessels of the stems of plants up flows blood rust bile patina and co [...]

As You’re Leaving

At dawn as you’re leaving your contours shucked out of night a bright violin your birch hips bowed taut strings still vibrating. Enveloped encased by your touch a cover of caresses so sweet I will not drift off into sleep. Eyelids [...]

My Poetry

justifies nothing explains nothing renounces nothing encompasses no whole fulfills no hope creates no new rules of the game takes no part in merriment has a defined place it must occupy if it’s not esoteric if it’s not original i [...]

a finger to the lips

the lips of truth are pressed tight a finger to the lips tells us the time has come for silence no one will answer the question what is truth the one who knew the one who was the truth is gone [...]

Butcher’s Booths

Rosy ideals hang quartered in butcher’s booths In stores clowns’ masks are sold gaudy post-mortem casts made of our faces we who live we who survived staring into the eyesockets of war. [...]