Astonishments

Astonishments Cover

Astonishments

Selected Poems of Anna Kamienska

By Anna Kamienska; Grazyna Drabik (Editor); David Curzon (Editor)

Paraclete Press (MA), Paperback, 9781557255990, 133pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2008

Description

Kamienska came of age during the horrors of the Nazi occupation of Poland and lived under Communism. These experiences, as well as the sudden death of her husband, led her to engagement with the Bible and the great religious thinkers of the 20th century.
 
Her poems record the struggles of a rational mind with religious faith, addressing loneliness and uncertainty in a remarkably direct, unsentimental manner. Her spiritual quest has resulted in extraordinary poems on Job, other biblical personalities, and victims of the Holocaust. Other poems explore the meaning of loss, grief, and human life. Still, her poetry expresses a fundamentally religious sense of gratitude for her own existence and that of other human beings, as well as for myriad creatures, such as hedgehogs, birds and “young leaves willing to open up to the sun.”   



Praise For Astonishments

Kamienska, a major Polish writer, and equal to Nobel Prize winners Wislawa Szymborska and Czeslaw Milosz, grew up in the horrors of Nazi occupation and Communism. Her poetry is straightforward, full of empathy and self-discovery. It describes ordinary things - harvest time, childhood, grammer, and laundry on the balcony line. The death of her husband left her depressed and she sought the bible and other religious thinkers of the twentieth century. One line illustrates her thought processes and deep feelings over the loss of her husband. "I still cannot believe in his death. Someone who loved so much, couldn't die. So is he alive?" But it also led to a religious experience. The last part of the book contains extracts from her notebooks from 1965 to 1979. Her last poem was written three days before her death - writing of God and death. Polish American Journal December 2007

Kamienska, a major Polish writer, and equal to Nobel Prize winners Wislawa Szymborska and Czeslaw Milosz, grew up in the horrors of Nazi occupation and Communism. Her poetry is straightforward, full of empathy and self-discovery. It describes ordinary things - harvest time, childhood, grammer, and laundry on the balcony line. The death of her husband left her depressed and she sought the bible and other religious thinkers of the twentieth century. One line illustrates her thought processes and deep feelings over the loss of her husband. "I still cannot believe in his death. Someone who loved so much, couldn't die. So is he alive?" But it also led to a religious experience. The last part of the book contains extracts from her notebooks from 1965 to 1979. Her last poem was written three days before her death - writing of God and death. Polish American Journal December 2007