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

Page 1 | 2 | 3

Tadeusz Dziewanowski, translated by Daniel Bourne

A Respect for Money

The richness of this alternative world was built
On a respect for money. Not even one public dime
Was squandered on libraries or operas, but on erecting monuments
To bankers. Priests raised up golden coins, while the faithful
Bedecked in white gloves placed immaculate new bills on the plate.
And though the single beggar in existence kept his paltry coins
In the tiny plastic boxes used by stamp-collectors, most children
Could dump their pockets into gilded piggy-banks padded thickly in satin.

Szacunku dla pieniądza

Bogactwo tego alternatywnego świata zbudowano
Na szacunku dla pieniądza. Nie trwoniono tam publicznego grosza
Na biblioteki, czy opery, lecz wystawiono pomnik zasłużonym
bankierom. Kapłani wznosili w górę złote monety, a wierni
W białych rękawiczkach kładli na tacę nowiutkie banknoty.
Jedyny żebrak otrzymywał drobne monety w
Plastikowych pudełkach do numizmatów.
Dzieci wrzucały kieszonkowe do złotych świnek wyściełanych atłasem.