The first extensive collection of Wernisch's verse to appear in English, drawing together more than one hundred poems from the whole course of Wernisch's career. From imagist haikus to long dramatic monologues, from nonsense verse to metaphysical meditation, from political grotesque to post-modern experiment, from folk songs to war poetry, Wernisch's work illustrates the poet's wide-ranging imagination, his erudite melancholy and absurdist skepticism, and his fascination with both high and low culture from many different poetic traditions.
"One of the basic experiences of reading Wernisch is feeling one’s own imagination begin to overflow the boundaries of an individual poem, even poems that one has read many times before, such that any particular work begins to feel like a fragment of a larger whole — a piece torn from a map, a page torn out of a bestiary, or a folk tale from an otherwise unknown people. And even as the poems encourage us to reach beyond them, they seem to warn us about how destabilizing and disconcerting this reaching can be." — from the Afterword
Publisher: Michigan Slavic Publications
Year of Publication: 2007
Location: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
# of Pages: 170
Format: Soft bound
Series Name / Number: Czech Translation Series [CZT] / 5
Notes, Comments, Reviews:
The collection is edited and translated by Jonathan Bolton, Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. Bolton's afterword places Wernisch's poetry in its Czech context, exploring and explaining the genres and themes that mark Wernisch's work.