© 2003 Quarterly West

The Beginning of the Week
Ewa Lipska



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Monday is not
obligatory
and yet aerobics
hangs our bodies out
in a rhythmic spectacle.

We steal through
housing bureaus
where we confirm
our theoretical presence.

Demons serve us
our choice of epitaph.
It's noon. Appetite for hunger.
We eat a spinach omelet.
Apple strudel. Idolatrous desert.

The sun's cigarette butt
smolders.

The day's courage sets.

And there is no obligation
to set an example for Tuesday
and for the na´ve orthography
of the new week.

--translated from the Polish by
Robin Davidson & Margret Grebowicz





Ewa Lipska was born in Cracow in the Polish People's Republic in 1945. She studied painting and art history at the Cracow Academy of Fine Arts, and published five volumes of poetry between 1967 and 1978. Like Adam Zagajewski, she is one of the generation of "New Wave" poets whose writing reflects the concerns of the democratic movement in Poland in the late 1960's. An English edition of selected poems entitled Poet? Criminal? Madman? appeared in 1991.

Robin Davidson was born in Trieste, Italy in 1953. She received a B.A. in French from the University of Texas at Austin, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston Creative Writing Program under the direction of Edward Hirsch and Polish poet Adam Zagajewski. She has published poems in several American literary magazines, including Gulf Coast, Confrontation, The Texas Review, and The Paris Review.

Margret Grebowicz is a native speaker of Polish, from Lodz, Poland. At the University of Texas at Austin. she studied with the poet and translator Christopher Middleton, completing a double degree in philosophy and German literature. In 2001, she received a Ph. D. in philosophy from Emory University, where she had been a student of Jean-Francois Lyotard, and later, Jacques Derrida. Margret is currently Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Houston-Downtown.