Hanged Man’s Lover

A volume of poetry by Rafał Wojaczek (1945-1971) an outcast poet who  in Poland has attained a cult status and is widely read nearly half a century after his death. Translated by Frank L. Vigoda, Bilingual edition. Available from VigodaPress for $20 (shipping within the US included).

Hanged Man’s Lover

A hanged man’s lover
looks him in the eyes
she sees herself
in his dream

A hanged man’s lover
crouches at his head
gives birth
to a black-faced baby,

A hanged man’s lover
her face is black
with pain
she tears the baby in two.

A hanged man’s lover
sucks on her breasts
claws herself
with her nails.

A hanged man’s lover
dies in his dream.

“Wojaczek’s work translates the political and practical circumstances of life in Poland into universal and existential terms. His lyrical subject is often preoccupied with the brutality of the physical body along with its suffering and pleasures. By placing the physicality and sexuality of the individual in the context of the practical and political, he achieves a depth of erotic and existential expression. His work has been compared by some to that of Lautréamont and Rimbaud, but was strongly connected with international trends of his time, particularly confessional poetry and the Beats. His earlier work was chiefly what Robert Lowell would have referred to as “raw,” but his late style became well “cooked,” with increasing attention to structure and subtle rhyme schemes using for example assonance between related (but not identical) Polish vowels, with no loss of emotional intensity.” (from Wikipedia)

To purchase the volume, contact flv@vigodapress.com.

wojaczekHanged Mans LoverSH2