Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

How does the memory of a poet like Czesaw Miosz differ from the memory of a historian?

Does Miosz ever “escape the provinces”?

Peter Filkins has written about the poetry and antipoetry of Miosz. What is the latter and how does it relate to the former?

Which seem more successful: the poems that Miosz wrote during World War II or the later poems recollecting the war?

Miosz lived and wrote for many years in the United States and assisted in translating his poems into English. Can he be considered in any sense an American poet?


(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Czarnecka, Ewa, and Aleksander Fiut. Conversations with Czesaw Miosz. Translated by Richard Lourie. New York: Harcourt, 1987. Incredibly eclectic and illuminating set of interviews divided into three parts. Part 1 explores Miosz’s childhood through mature adulthood biographically, part 2 delves more into specific poetry and prose works, and part 3 looks at Miosz’s philosophical influences and perspectives on theology, reality, and poetry. It is especially interesting to hear Miosz’s interpretations of his own poems.

Davie, Donald. Czesawa Miosza and the Insufficiency of Lyric. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1986.

Dudek, Jolanta. Europejskie korzenie poezji Czesawa Miosza. Cracow: Ksiegarnia Akademicka, 1995. Explores the poetic, philosophical, and religious influences of Miosz’s mature poetry, focusing on the long poem Gdzie wschodzi soce i kdy zapada. Draws connections in the poem to William Blake, William Butler Yeats, and James Joyce. In Polish, with a short summary in English.

Fiut, Aleksander. The Eternal Moment: The Poetry of Czesaw Miosz. Translated by Theodosia S. Robertson. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. A comprehensive examination of the artistic and philosophical dimensions of Miosz’s oeuvre. Fiut analyzes the poet’s search for the essence of...

(The entire section is 551 words.)