Music : Krzysztof Andrzej Jeżewski, trans. Patrick John Corness
This work consists of a cycle of 64 poems—“a mystical quest for God through music”. There is an introductory essay by Jeżewski, and alongside the poems are paintings by Michał Józefowicz. The English translation by award-winning translator Corness faces the original Polish text.
Krzysztof Jeżewski is the recipient of numerous awards: the Karol Szymanowski medal, the ZAiKS [Society of Polish Authors] award, the Konstanty A. Jeleński award conferred by the Paris literary journal Kultura [Culture] and the Polish PEN-Club award.
Patrick Corness is an award winning literary translator. He is visiting Professor of Translation at Coventry University and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Leeds.
“It is poetry of exuberant imagination, rich in polyphonic vocabulary, expressions and symbols.” Bohdan Pociej
“Of all the arts, music is most able to express our sense of the ineffable and sublime. This cycle of poems by the Polish poet Jezewski is both a moving tribute to that power and a personal exploration of the metaphysical dimension of life.” Peter Abbs
“An invitation, full of charm and verbal magic, to the world of Harmony. It also offers (at times disturbing) apocalyptic visions, sensations, and mystical explorations stimulated by music. Of this Manichaean division between light and fire, darkness and nothingness, of this dichotomy between silence and sound, is born the response to the mystery of life and death.” Béatrice Nowak
“The reader of Jeżewski’s poetry is witness to the ‘flash of the spark of inspiration’.” Adam Zagajewski
“In Krzysztof Jeżewski’s Music we encounter the reverse of light; we attain the other face of day.” Gerard Emmanuel da Silva
“Krzysztof Jeżewski’s poetry does not attempt to translate sound into a visual representation, nor does it seek to characterise in words the style of great composers. It reaches much further, expressing the message of music transformed in terms of the poet’s subjective perception.” Krzysztof Lipka
Leaves Like Spindrift by Isabel Chenot
Isabel Chenot is an example of that rare poet who possesses a lyrical voice which speaks as much to the head as the heart. The poems in this volume — her first collection — reflect on glimpses of eternity found in everyday, ephemeral experiences. In doing so they express a vision of the natural world within which one may find flashes of astonishing beauty in unexpected places. She writes that, “poetry has a special capacity in its musical aspect for amorphous shadows of thought”. That delicate musical suggestiveness is found in abundance in this lovely book.
One reviewer wrote:
“Images of birds, leaves, light and water permeate these subtle and moving poems. Isabel Chenot’s vision is one where eternity is to be perceived in all the minute details of the natural world, if only we could adopt her ability to be still and alive to the amazing detail offered by light on water or the miracle of a bird in flight. This poet is acutely aware of transience and in these careful and precise poems uses interweaving themes and images to create a collection of beauty and celebration. I see these poems as reflecting the divine in all its forms, with the same intelligence and reverence as poets such as Kathleen Raine, Wendell Berry and Mary Oliver. This is a collection to treasure for its timelessness and accessibility, one that offers wonder, solace and ultimately peace.” — Victoria Field