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  • Krzysztof Dubiel for the Polish Book Institute

Marzanna Kielar


Born in 1963, Kielar is the poet whom one critic has called the "Polish Sappho". She is professor of philosophy, lives in Warsaw and Brussels, and her poems have been translated into 22 languages.

"The Polish Sappho" is no exaggeration. In interviews, the poet herself has stressed the differentness of the female method of writing. In Kielar's poetry we find an acceptance of existence and a tenderness towards the world, a readiness for a prayerful contemplation of its beauty, admiration of the miracle of dawn and evening. Many of the poems are erotic lyrics, yet the death that is present within them evokes neither terror nor discord – it is one more form of initiation and of the sense that fulfills existence. This is poetry of philosophical reflection, of erotic and thanatic imagination, invariably marked by respect for what is real and can be described in the language of the five senses. The verse itself is full of suggestive metaphors that recall studied photographs in which everything seems to exist fully and distinctly, washed with a purifying light, offering peace and calm.

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