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Tag Archives: Poland

Flowers piled in front of a concrete wall.

“To Conjure Up the Dead”

It’s hard to commune with the dead when you are attending to your body. But didn’t I see my companion cry back there, in front of the suitcases? Did he smell the odor from human bodies?

“Presence” by Czesław Miłosz

When I ran barefoot in our gardens by the river Nieviaza

Something was there, that I didn’t then try to name:

Everywhere, between the trunks of linden trees, on the sunny side of the lawn,
on the path by the orchard,

A Presence resided, I didn’t know whose.

Endurance and the Art of Guido van der Werve: Nummer veertien, home

Adequately capacious, clear and brilliant, the landscape broods with sublimity. Spring is sweeping in, emitting an even light that stirs up the deepest colors, the richest shadows. It’s a different kind of saturation, a light that is water-soaked. It’s a landscape that is heavy laden with weather. This sensitivity is expressively captured in cinematography, offering paths through the landscape where the journey becomes implicitly mythic, steeped in van der Werve’s haunt of heroes. Landscape is not just a backdrop, it’s a living character.

Stefa in 1947

“Remembering Stefania Wortman,” by Marcin Otto

* nonfiction by Marcin Otto, from Stefanie Wortman’s essay in MQR 53:3 Summer 2014 * In early 1940, several months into the Nazi occupation, Elektoralna found itself in the middle of a huge quarter called the Warsaw Ghetto, surrounded by a tall wall. Eleonora was Jewish but apparently she abandoned the flat with her children and stayed outside of the Ghetto, concealing their Jewish identities. In practice, it was a question of whether you looked Semitic and had the papers in order.