shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare


Born in Gdańsk in 1953, Tadeusz Dziewanowski was involved in Polish street theater during the 1970s, and was a co-founder of the Gdańsk-area creative group, Tawerna Psychonautów (The Tavern of the Psychonauts) in the 1980s. His first book of poetry, Siedemnaście tysięcy małpich ogonów (Seventeen Thousand Monkey Tales), appeared in 2009, and his poetry, reviews and translations from English appear regularly in the Polish literary journal Topos. In the U.S., Daniel Bourne's translations of his poetry have appeared in Plume (including their bilingual collaborative poetry project "A Journey Between the Lands"), in International Poetry Review, in The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, and Able Muse.

Daniel Bourne's books include The Household Gods, Where No One Spoke the Language, and Talking Back to the Exterminator, forthcoming from Regal House as the 2022 recipient of its Terry J. Cox Poetry Award. His poems have also appeared in Guernica, Conduit, APR, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. Since 1980, he has also lived in Poland several times, including 1985-87 on a Fulbright for the translation of younger Polish poets and, most recently, in 2018 and 2019. His translations appear in many literary journals, and a book of his translations of Polish Poet Bronis?aw Maj, The Extinction of the Holy City, is forthcoming from Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press.

Tadeusz Dziewanowski

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Tadeusz Dziewanowski, translated by Daniel Bourne

The Ideal God

True at times he becomes cruel to his own family
But for us he endeavors to be good and just
He surveils us through walls and ceilings but
Still knows to bite his tongue
Turning a blind eye to all those cataclysms
That serve some end of which we have no inkling
He gives us aspirin and penicillin for sickness
And during wartime preserves his neutrality without fail

Bóg idealny

Bywa co prawda okrutny w stosunku do swojej rodziny
Dla nas jednak stara się być dobry i sprawiedliwy
Podgląda nas przez ściany i sufit, ale
Umie trzymać język za zębami
Przymyka oko na kataklizmy, gdyż
Służą sprawom, o których nie mamy pojęcia
Dał nam aspirynę i penicylinę na choroby
Podczas wojen zachowuje oczywiście neutralność