Wise Poets – Adam Zagajewski – Boogie-Woogie

Adam Zagajewski (June 21, 1945 – March 21, 2021)

You shout from the other room
You ask me how to spell boogie-woogie
And instantly I think what luck
no war has been declared
no fire has consumed
our city’s monuments
our bodies our dwellings
The river didn’t flood
no friends
have been arrested
It’s only boogie-woogie
I sigh relieved
and say it’s spelled just like it sounds
boogie-woogie

Translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh (May 23, 1956 -).


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