A National Book Critics Circle 2007 Poetry Award Finalist
Winner of the 2008 Found in Translation Award for the Best Polish-English Translation of the Year
Written in a pared-down, direct language, and filled with allusions to everything from philosophy to TV talk shows, the poetry of Tadeusz Rózewicz encompasses the complexity of human experience in the early 21st century. Rózewicz’s unique voice, formed during his experiences as a member of the Polish resistance in World War II, and honed by decades living under communist rule, holds a merciless mirror up to the crimes and excesses of the poet’s lifetime. Now in his eighties, Rózewicz continues to be a prolific writer and an acerbic commentator on his life and times. This collection combines his latest three volumes: professor’s knife, gray zone, and exit. These are extraordinary poems from an acknowledged European master.
The startling juxtaposition of sensual and brutal histories, of human and animal flesh, of the experience of war and of writing is Rózewicz's great achievement...
— The Guardian
I cannot imagine what post-war Polish poetry would have looked like without the poems of Tadeusz Rózewicz. We all owe something to him, though not all of us are able to admit it.
— Wislawa Szymborska
Rózewicz is a poet of chaos with a nostalgia for order. Around him and in himself he sees only broken fragments, a senseless rush.
— Czeslaw Milosz
His poems are extraordinary in their ordinariness.
— Jan Miodek, Gazeta Wyborcza Wroclaw
Another chapter in Rózewicz's great poetic reckoning with the age in which it fell to him to live—a reckoning with his own biography, with poetry, with art, and with the mystery of human existence.
— Tygodnik Powszechny, on gray zone
This book is filled with humor, irony, and language play; it inspires laughter and hope... Rózewicz seeks to shock with his juxtapositions, to demonstrate how much depends on one's perspective; he seeks to de-automatize thought... A superb reflection of reality.
— Izabela Mikrut, on exit