Meeting with the poet of brass tacks - project workshop 18.03.2024

18 marca w ramach projektu „Kobieca strona poezji, czyli przez wiersze do języka”, odbyły się kolejne warsztaty dla studentów z Włoch, Litwy i Ukrainy.

The creative output of Krystyna Dąbrowska was presented by Professor Luigi Marinelli. He drew particular attention to the interesting titles of her poetry volumes White Chairs, Time and Aperture, signaling the author's artistic, painterly view of the reality she depicts.

W istocie, poetka ukończyła studia artystyczne – grafikę na Akademii Sztuk Pięknych w Warszawie. Jak zauważył prof. Marinelli, niektóre detale ujmuje ona w swych utworach w sposób wyjątkowo wyrazisty, wręcz jaskrawy. Sprawa wzroku, widzenia, kadrowania danej sytuacji, przedmiotu czy osoby, są dla niej niezwykle istotne, podobnie jak i bardzo małe elementy realności, konkrety, które otwierają nową perspektywę widzenia. Jak powiedziała w trakcie spotkania sama autorka, „konkrety wyczuwają fałsz” i sprawdzają szczerość wiersza.

Later in the meeting, Krystyna Dąbrowska answered questions from students participating in the "Woman's Side of Poetry" project. A recurring issue was the question of the correct interpretation of the poet's works, whose translation into their national languages was undertaken by the students. However, the author encouraged their personal, own interpretation, not burdened by the vision of the author or researchers. In her opinion, on poetry "everyone knows, and poems are not for specialists." Together with the students, she also tried to unravel the problem of translating idioms and wordplay in a poetic work.

The poet confessed that during her art studies she learned respect for the craft, which for her is also the word. She accepted that she works long hours on some pieces, chiseling their form. She also talked about the personal or historical context of the creation of some of her poems and essays: the piece Personal Things, related to her grandmother's occupation experiences, the poem Fish and anemone referring to the time of the pandemic, Cosmos concerning the war, or I Never Thought I'd Bake Bread , a poem about refugees. She also mentioned the backstage ceremony in November 2013, during which she received the Wisława Szymborska Award for her volume White Chairs. At the time, she dropped the heavy statuette - a glass sphere with the letters of the alphabet submerged in it - out of excitement. "The whole alphabet stuck to the bottom for amen," she said. - the poet added.

Krystyna Dąbrowska also shared her translation experience with the young translators. It is worth recalling that she has translated poetry that is very far from her sensibilities, as she admits - poets and poets such as Jonathan Swift, Thomas Hardy, W.C. Williams, W.B. Yeats, Thomas Gunn, Elisabeth Bishop. She has also translated poetry by Louise Glück(Winter Recipes of Our Community, 2022; Ararat, 2021), Nuali Ní Dhomhnaill(Thorn of the Hawthorn, 2021) and Kim Moore. As she said at the meeting, for poets, translation is a rest from themselves, while "for the non-writer, translation is a torture."

Translated by students from Lithuania, Ukraine and Italy, Krystyna Dąbrowska's poems will make up a volume of translations, scheduled to be published in the fall.

A transcript of the online conference can be viewed here (kod dostępu: C75kaJ8@).

The text is also available on the website of the Polish Studies Bulletin.

Author: Mariola Wilczak