Krzysztof Kuczkowski

Two Poems by Krzysztof Kuczkowski, translated from the Polish by editor Daniel Bourne:


Krzysztof Kuczkowski, born in 1955 in the Polish city of Gniezno, since 1993 has edited the Polish literary journal and publishing house Topos. The recipient of numerous awards for both his poetry and editorial work with Topos, his books of poetry include Prognoza pogody (Weather Report, 1980), Pornografia (Pornography, 1981), Cialo, cien (Body, Shadow, 1989), Trawa na dachu (Grass Roof, 1992), Wizok z dachu (View from the Roof, 1994), Stado (The Herd, 1995), Aniol i gora (The Angel and the Mountain, 1996), Niebo w grudniu (The Sky in December, 1997) and Tlen (Oxygen, 2003), in which the poems translated in this issue of Artful Dodge appeared. In 1998, a volume of his selected works from 1978-1998 appeared under the Wieza widokowa (The Lookout Tower).



1) Little Poem on the End of the World

once again it was to be

The end of the world


the one that once

was unimaginable

was to take the place of the one

we knew so well


it happened without elaborate



what stuck out

what stuck in

remained stuck in

and they still didn't fit

inside each other


the reality seen

and unseen

never came together

like the two parts of a split open melon


always something screws up

something here or there


it's either too cold or too hot

a white wind blows


the fale prophets in the wilderness

multiply like rabbits


2) From the Beginning

Again from the beginning

from the shadow of the cloud on the dark

water of the Gniezno Baths

from the dung beetle who with his yellow claws

diligently pushes at

the earth

and the little black pup

with his ears freshly cropped


We are descending

the grass levee to the side

of the housing estate of Winiary

when up the embankment behind us

there pours a flood of light

we don't even try to escape



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