True Life: Poems


Product Details

$26.00  $24.18
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.4 X 0.7 inches | 0.45 pounds
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Adam Zagajewski (1945-2021) was born in Lvov, Poland. His books include Tremor; Canvas; Mysticism for Beginners; Without End; Eternal Enemies; Unseen Hand; Asymmetry; Solidarity, Solitude; Two Cities; Another Beauty; A Defense of Ardor; and Slight Exaggeration--all published by FSG. He lived in Chicago and Kraków. Clare Cavanagh is a professor of Slavic languages and literatures at Northwestern University. Her most recent book, Lyric Poetry and Modern Politics, received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. She is currently working on an authorized biography of Czeslaw Milosz. She has also translated the poetry of Wislawa Szymborska. She lives in Deerfield, Illinois.


" Zagajewski attains a scale that is epic in a poetic voice that is intimate, nearly mild . . . The poems are at an extreme of truth-telling. They deploy understatement like a talisman as they enter the grandly menacing yet oblivious borderland of our worst human doings." --Robert Pinsky, The New York Times Book Review

"Zagajewski's books are true, of their era and eternal . . . Few poets have captured the mysterious motion through space, time, and mood that Zagajewski evokes in passing through built environments and poring over historical testaments . . . In his own broad senses of time and space, Zagajewski himself was a poet who did live everywhere, and who, thanks to such books as True Life, will continue to do so." --Kathleen Rooney, Los Angeles Review of Books

"Zagajewski represented something more than just a talented writer--he wrote with a voice that was, and is, inimitable and enigmatic. There is nobody who sounds like Zagajewski . . . True life contains distance and melancholy as well as enthusiasm, and Zagajewski's achievement is to show us both. He is much missed, but this volume offers readers one final gift, well worth treasuring." --Magdalena Kay, World Literature Today

"[Zagajewski's] plain, slanted observations alter the world so that you cannot help but use them to describe the history of your own life, to trace the contours of your own memories, to give order to your own present . . . Clare Cavanagh has been spinning Zagajewski's poetry and books of essays into commonplace miracles of translation for going on thirty years, and she has done so for the last time with True Life." --Ania Szremski, 4Columns

"This tender posthumous work by Zagajewski (Two Cities) is exceptionally translated by Cavanagh, who has captured the poet's subdued, ruminative, and wry tones . . . While devastating truths anchor the reader to a foreclosed present ('We can be stopped/ just like that/ stop'), there is evidence of hope in beauty: 'Lips parted/ Everything is still possible.' This is a remarkable collection by one of the century's finest poets." --Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"A leading light in Poland's New Wave of poetry, as well as a celebrated poet of any country or time, his "poems about the past, cities, and movement" will be a welcome addition to every library, especially through the care of award-winning translator Clare Cavanagh." --Mandana Chaffa, Chicago Review of Books