Tomasz Różycki’s To the Letter follows Lieutenant Anielewicz on the hunt for any clues that might lead 21st century human beings out of a sense of despair. With authoritarianism rising across Eastern Europe, the Lieutenant longs for a secret hero. At first, he suspects some hidden mechanism afoot: fruit tutors him in the ways of color, he drifts out to sea to study the grammar of tides, or he gazes at the sun as it thrums away like a timepiece. In one poem, he admits “this is the story of my confusion,” and in the next the Lieutenant is back on the trail. “This lunacy needs a full investigation,” he jibes. He wants to get to the bottom of it all, but he’s often bewitched by letters and the trickery of language. Diacritics on Polish words form a “flock of sooty flecks, clinging to letters” and Lieutenant Anielewicz studies the tails, accents, and strokes that twist this script. While the Lieutenant can’t write a coherent code to solve life’s mysteries or to fill the absence of a country rent by war, his search for patterns throughout art, philosophy, and literature lead not to despair but to an affirmation of the importance of human love. Różycki collects moments of illumination – a cat dashing out of a window and “feral sun” streaking in, a body planting itself in the ground like rhubarb and flowering. He collects and collects, opens a crack, and clutches a shrapnel of epiphany.