December 31, 2022

Henrikas Radauskas (Lithuania / USA) 1910-1970

Henrikas Radauskas (Lithuania/USA) 

Born in 1910, Henrikas Radauskas spent his childhood in a village near Panevėžys in the north-central part of Lithuania. His family moved to Siberia at the beginning of World War I, and it was there he attended elementary school. 
     In 1921 he returned to Lithuania, graduating from Panevėžys high school, and, in 1929, graduated from the Teachers Institute there. For a short period of time he taught school, and then entered the University of Kaunas. After completing his studies, he became a radio announcer and a copy editor in Kaunas. 
     In 1937 he assumed the editorship of the publications division of the Lithuanian Ministry of Education. In 1944, Radauskas, like many other Lithuanians before him, attempted to emigrate to the Soviet Union; but he and his wife were caught between the retreating Nazis and the advancing Red Army, and were forced to settle in Germany, first in Berlin and later in Reutlingen by the French and Swiss borders. 
    In 1949 they emigrated to the United States, spending a year in Baltimore before settling in Chicago. American life was difficult for the couple, and he labored for ten years as a machine operator for a company that produced chairs before being able to secure a job as a translator and copy editor at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.─ a job he held until his death in 1970. 
      Radauskas published only four books of poetry, but they were of sufficient merit to establish him as a major Lithuanian poet in an artistic scene of great sophistication. Other major Lithuanian poets, both émigrés and those writing in Lithuania, wrote poetry grounded in traditional German and Lithuanian conventions; but, as Radauskas's translator has written, "Radauskas sought to shape the things of the world as he saw them into a personal universe, a controlled place which the terrors of history...could be mitigated and overcome." The result is a poetry that at times seems highly influenced by surrealism, but is, nonetheless, highly idiosyncratic, closer to a vision of the naïve artist who compresses images and time to create a work of stunning originality.  


Fontanas (1935); Strėlė danguje (1950); Žiemos daina (1955); Žaibai ir vėjai (1965) 

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS Chimeras in the Tower: Selected Poems of Henrikas Radauskas, translated by Jonas Zdanys (Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1986)


In a room dead for twenty years
An old woman's shadow yawns, turns an empty
Coffee grinder, the clock shows Sunday,
The cuckoo quieted, stabbed a guest in the inn.

A sleep woman reads a scorched book:
The Terrible History of Demon Belphegor.
In her palms are Saturn's broken lines.
The double walls are filled with ducats and bones.

An anemic voice runs up the cellar stairs,
Coloratura dripping candles and tears.
The wall rips, the rubber girl falls,
Violins carry the bloody heart to the garden.

A giant laughing maple knocks at the ruddy
Coffin decorated with flutes and fioritaura.
Poveri fiori. Poisoned violets faint.
The shadow of the voice runs to vanished house.

 -Translated from the Lithuanian by Jonas Zdanys


Locked up in a midday hard as diamond
My eyes begin to fail.
The shore is charged with a fierce light:
A holiday of nails, broken glass, daggers--
Who will give me a helping hand?

And streamer and locomotive
Sirens carve the rippled air,
And crabs and lobsters crawl
Between the fishermen's stone hands,
And a crowd of screaming blacks
Pierces me like knives.

The shore is charged with a hot light.
Who will cover the fire with clouds,
Help me to wait for the cold night?
A holiday of lightning, flames, embers.

And the ocean rocks with boats
And glitters with crooked mirrors.

 -Translated from the Lithuanian by Jonas Zdanys

Conversation of Dogs

Through darkening telegraph poles
At the crossroads, near grey piles of gravel,
I see frail farmsteads scattered
Against the dimmed autumn background.

Beyond the highway, beyond the falling birches,
A shepherd's voice in the marsh throbs among ferns.
Rain drips slowly
From the horses's manes.

In the woods woodpecker knocks don't knock.
Evening fell beyond the clouds.
Things died out.
It's dark.

Who threw me into this darkness?
I walk splashing invisible puddles.
Somewhere far off, beyond the horizon
Conversations of dogs.

 -Translated from the Lithuanian by Jonas Zdanys

December 30, 2022

Wallace Stevens (USA) 1879-1955

Wallace Stevens (USA)


Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Wallace Stevens was the second of five children of a lawyer father and a mother who had been a former schoolteacher. Stevens’ upbringing in this middle-class, Presbyterian, bible-reading family was quite conventional. He played football, was educated in the classics, and graduated in 1897, the same year as his brother.

     Stevens attended Harvard University as a special student, allowing him a reduced tuition but no degree. While there he began writing fiction and poems for the local campus magazine, and in following years he was elected president of the Harvard Advocate, the literary magazine. While at Harvard, Stevens also encountered the noted philosopher-poet George Santayana, with whom he met several times and with whom he shared some of his poetry.



      Leaving Harvard in 1900, Stevens was intent to become a writer. In New York he worked briefly for the New York Tribune and then as an editor at World’s Work. His father, however, strongly disapproved of his literary aspirations, and under his pressure, Stevens entered law school in New York in 1901, from which he graduated two years later. For the next thirteen years Stevens continued living in Manhattan, working in a legal capacity and regularly attending literary salons and readings that included figures such as William Carlos Williams, Marcel Duchamp and the composer Edgard Varèse. His career seemed to go adrift, as he moved from one law firm to another and worked at four different insurance companies. However, he continued to write poetry, composing many of the works that would make up his 1923 volume, Harmonium.

     In 1909, after a long courtship, he married Elsie Viola Kachel Moll, but the relationship was tempestuous at best. In later years, they lived separate lives in their Hartford, Connecticut home.

     In 1916, Stevens found himself unemployed and was forced to leave New York to take a position at the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Insurance Company in Hartford. During these years, Stevens worked his way up in the company, gaining substantial financial success, but his interchange with contemporary authors shifted as he became more isolated and reclusive.
Harmonium was not a financial success, but contained some of his most outstanding poems of any first publication by a poet. Among the works in this volume were the noted poems “The Snow Man,” “The Emperor of Ice-Cream,” “Sunday Morning,” “Anecdote of the Jar,” “Peter Quince at the Clavier,” and “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.”

     He did not publish his second volume, Ideas of Order, until twelve years later, in 1935. Over the remaining years of his life, Stevens published essays and poetry at regular intervals, and late in his life, won several prizes, including the Bollingen Prize in 1950, National Book Awards in 1951 and 1955, and a Pulitzer Prize in 1955. The same year as the Pulitzer, Stevens was diagnosed in incurable stomach cancer, and died August 2nd in Hartford.


Harmonium (New York: Knopf, 1923; revised and enlarged, 1931); Ideas of Order (New York: Alcestis Press, 1935; enlarged edition, New York: Knopf, 1936); Owl’s Clover (New York: Alcestis Press, 1936); The Man with the Blue Guitar & Other Poems (New York: Knopf, 1937); Parts of a World (New York: Knopf, 1942); Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction (Cummington, Massachusetts: Cummington Press, 1942); Esthétique du Mal (Cummington, Massachusetts: Cummington Press, 1945); Transport to Summer (New York: Knopf, 1947); Three Academic Pieces: The Realm of Resemblance, Someone Puts a Pineapple Together, Of Idea Time and Choice (Cummington, Massachusetts: Cumming Press, 1947); A Primitive Like an Orb (New York: Gotham Book Mart, 1948); The Auroras of Autumn (New York: Knopf, 1950); Selected Poems (London: Fortune Press, 1952); Selected Poems (London: Faber & Faber, 1953); Mattino Domenicale [in English and Italian, translations by Renato Poggioli (Turin: Guilio Einaudi, 1954); Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (New York: Knopf, 1954); The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens (New York: Knopf, 1954; London: Faber & Faber, 1955); Opus Posthumous, edited by Samuel French Morse (New York: Knopf, 1954; London: Faber & Faber, 1959); Poems of Wallace Stevens, edited by Samuel French Morse (New York: Vintage, 1959); The Palm at the End of the Mind: Selected Poems and a Play by Wallace Stevens, edited by Holly Stevens (New York: Knopf, 1971).


Go here for an interesting essay on Stevens:


Go here for a longer biography and several poems:



December 29, 2022

Ryszard Krynicki (Poland) 1943

Ryszard Krynicki (Poland)


Born in Sankt Valentin in Austria in 1943, Ryszard Krynicki is considered one of the most important of contemporary Polish poets. Part of the group poets described as the "Generation of 1968, his early poems were characterized by a strong emphasis on image, as he portrayed a complex and nightmarish universe that grew out of Polish political events between March 1968 and December 1970. Yet, Krynicki's work—its dominance of chaotic and often dissociated series of events, can also be understood on a metaphysical level, wherein truth itself is unassertainable.

      In his later poems, this sense of chaos was transformed into  world spiritual possibilities represented in stunning simplicity. Believing poetry to be a shifting and alternating force, Krynicki often returned to his earlier poems, revising them in the context of his new vision of reality.

     In 1975, Krynicki signed the "Protest of 59" document against changes to the Polish constitution, and associated himself with the political opposition; he was banned from official publication from 1976-1980. In 1976, however, he was awarded the Koscielski Prize.

     In 1988 he founded a5 publishers, concentrating on contemporary Polish poetry. Krynicki has also translated numerous German-language poets into Polish, including Gottfried Benn, Bertolt Brecht, Paul Celan, and Reiner Kunze.

     Krynicki lives in Poznan, near Cracow.

     In 2015, he was awarded the Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award as a recognition for his poetry works.


Ped Pogoni, Ped ucieczki (Warsaw, ZSP, 1968); Akt urodzenia (Poznán: Wydawictw Pozanskie, 1969); Organizm Zbiorowwy (Kraków: WL, 1975); Niewiele więle więcez / wiersze Ryszwada Krynickiegi (Paris: Instytut Literacki, 1978); Niewiele wiecz. Wiersze z notatnika 78-79 (Kraców: Krakowska Oficyna Studentow, 1981); Jezeli w jakims kraju (undergroud, S.i.s.n, 1982); Ocalenie z nicosci (Kraców: Swit, 1983); Niepodlegli nicosci (Warsaw: NOWA, 1988); Magnetyczny Punkts. Wybrane wiersze i prezeklady (Warsaw: CiS, 1996); Kamien, szron (Kraków: Wydawn. a5, 2004); Kamień, szron (Kraków, 2005); Wiersze wybrane (Kraków, 2009); Przekreślony początek (Wrocław, 2013)


Selected poems in Humps & Wings: Polish Poetry Since '68, ed. by Tadeusz Nyczek (San Francisco: Invisible City/Red Hill Press, 1982; Citizen R. K. Does Not Live Here: Poems of Ryszard Krynicki (Forest Grove, Oregon: Mr. Cogito Press, 1985)

The tongue, that wild meat
for Zbigniew Herbert & Mr. Cogito

the tongue, that wild meat, that grows in the wound,
in the open would of the mouth, that feeds on deceitful truth,
the tongue, that externally beating, bared heart, that naked blade,
a defenseless weapon, that gag, stifling
defeated uprisings of words, that animal tamed daily
by human teeth, that inhuman thing which grows in us and
outgrows us, that animal fed with the poisoned flesh of the body,
that red flag we swallow and spit out together with the blood, that
split in two surrounding us, that real lie that deceives,
that child, while learning the truth, truly lies

—Translated from the Polish by Boguław Rostworowski

The battleship Potemkin

it is sailing through our times
and through our stormy hearts

from generation to generation
its crew changes: the phantoms
of our affairs

from generation to generation
mutinies erupt aboard

because of bad meat
because of ideas poisoned by deceit

from generation to generation
bad meat is our food

phantoms feed on phantoms
the meat of the crew changes into daily bread
the battleship Potemkin is sailing through our times
and through our blinded hearts

—Translated from the Polish by Boguław Rostworowski

Inhabitants of phantasmagoria

Inhabitants of phantasmagoria,
we have long surpassed the speed of light,
we have turned on our planet
and transformed it into an unidentified flying object:

we have overtaken everything, even the future.

We are younger and younger,
the objects that accompany us
are also younger and younger, they undergo
reverse evolution.
We have overtaken the future, we are turning into the past.

Our bodies are younger and younger,
they turn up decimated in other bodies.
Our objects turn up in other objects.
Our planet in other planets.
Our boundaries—in other boundaries.
Our wars—in other wars, the just in the unjust,
the unjust in the just.
Our mistakes, sorrows, hopes, loves, wrongs
—in other mistakes, sorrows, hopes, loves, wrongs.

The faster we move into the future, the faster
we return and there is nothing
nothing we can change, nothing we can save:
we cannot save the pyre and the Holy Inquisition
from Joan of Arc, Giordano Bruno, Jan Hus,
force from the victims of force,
fascism from the fascists,
the nothingness of the future from the nothingness of the past,
nothingness from humanity, and we know
we can no longer stop to start from the beginning
or at least to stop for a while
before the inevitable meeting with our very selves:

face to face

Translated from the Polish by Boguław Rostworowski

He who chooses loneliness
in memory of Tadeusz Peiper

He who chooses loneliness—will never be alone.
He who chooses homelessness—will have the world's roof over his head.
He who chooses death—will not cease to live.
He who is chosen by death—will hardly

Translated from the Polish by Boguław Rostworowski


December 28, 2022

"Vorticist Portraiture in Mina Loy's Anglo-Mongrels and the Rose" | essay by Urvi Majumdar [link]

To read "Vorticist Portraiture in Mina Loy's Anglo-Mongrels and the Rose" by Urvi Majumdar go here: 

Mina Loy (England / USA) 1882-1966

Mina Loy (England / USA)



Born in London in 1882, Mina Gertrude Lowy studied art in Munich and in London (where she was taught by Augustus John) before moving to Paris in 1903. In Paris she married Stephen Haweis, and changed her surname to Loy. Her first child, Oda, died on her first birthday.

     The same year Loy met Gertrude and Leo Stein, and through Stein's salons, met Apollinaire, Picasso, Rosseau, and many others. As her art began to be noticed in Paris, she moved with her husband in 1906 to Florence, during which she suffered from depression and ill-health.

     However, Loy continued to produce art and began to flourish under the influence of Mabel Dodge, who have moved to Florence in 1910. In 1913 Loy exhibited paintings in London, and the same year, Stein and Toklas visited Loy in Florence. Later that year, Loy's husband sailed to the Fiji Islands, Tahiti, Australia, San Francisco, and New York, and Loy filed for divorce, allying herself with the Italian Futurists.

     Over the next few years, despite the declaration of war, and the breaking up of the American/English colony in Florence, Loy remained, having affairs with the Italian Futurist writers F. T. Marinetti and Giovanni Papini. As her writing began to be circulated in the avant-garde circles of New York, Loy grew restless in Italy and began to make plans to go to the United States. Disillusioned with Futurism, she performed anti-Futurist works such as her experimental verse play The Paperers, which exaggerated masculinities. In October of that year, 1916, she sailed, with her two children, for New York.

     Loy immediately made a sensation in Greenwich Village and in the avant-garde magazine Others. After she appeared as the wife in Alfred Kreymborg's play Lima Beans (William Carlos Williams was the husband), the New York press "discovered" her. In numerous articles and editorials throughout 1917, Loy was discussed as the paradigm of the modern woman. That same year, she met the Dadaist poet-publisher-pugilist-hoaxer Arthur Cravan; they were married in Mexico City in January 1918. As Loy sailed for Buenos Aires in preparation for their return to Europe, Cravan disappeared, never to be seen again.

     Back in Europe Loy began designing lamps and other commercial furniture and returned to the social whirl of Paris literary life. As Robert McAlmon reported about her wit at parties -- and her friendship with Djuna Barnes -- "If only Djuna Barnes or Mina Loy turned up, the evening might be saved." Throughout the next decades Loy worked on her poetic masterwork, Anglo-Mongrels and the Rose.

     In 1936 she returned to the United States, forming a lasting friendship with Joseph Cornell and retaining occasional contacts with friends from Europe, including Djuna Barnes, Marcel Duchamp, Alfred Kreymborg, Henry Miller, Man Ray and Mary Reynolds. In 1944 she became a naturalized citizen. She died in September 1966 in Aspen, Colorado.

       Her Stories and Essays were published by Dalkey Archive in 2011.




Lunar Baedeker (Paris: Contact Publishing Company, 1923); selections from "Anglo-Mongrels and the Rose" in Contact Collection of Contemporary Writers (Paris: Three Mountains Press, 1925); Lunar Baedeker and Time-Tables (Highlands, North Carolina: Jonathan Williams Publisher [Jargon 23], 1958); The Last Lunar Baedeker, edited by Roger L. Conover (Highlands, North Carolina: The Jargon Society, 1982); The Lost Lunar Baedeker, selected and edited by Roger L. Conover (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1996


Lunar Baedeker


A silver Lucifer


cocaine in cornucopia


To some somnambulists

of adolescent thighs


in satirical draperies


Peris is livery



or posthumous parvenues


Delicious Avenues


with the chandelier souls

of infusoria

from Pharoah's tombstones



to mercurial doomsdays

Odious oasis

in furrowed phosphorous— — —


the eye-white sky-light

white-light district

of lunar lusts


— — — Stellectric signs

"Wing shows on Starway"

"Zodiac carrousel"



of ecstatic dust

and ashes whirl


from hallucinatory citadels

of shattered glass

into evacuate craters


A flock of dreams

browse on Necropolis


From the shores

of oval oceans

in the oxidized Orient


Onyx-eyed Odalisques

and ornithologists


the flight

of Eros obsolete


And "Immortality"

mildews. . .

in the museums of the moon


"Nocturnal cyclops"

"Crystal concubine"

— — — — — — —

Pocked with personification

the fossil virgin of the skies

waxes and wanes— — — —




Virgins Plus Curtains Minus Dots


Latin Borghese


Houses hold virgins

The doors on the chain


"Plumb streets with hearts"

"Bore curtains with eyes"


Virgins without dots

Stare beyond probability


See the men pass

Their hats are not ours

We take a walk

They are going somewhere

And they may look everywhere

Men's eyes look into things

Our eyes look out


A great deal of ourselves

We offer to the mirror

Something less to the confessional

The rest to Time

There is so much Time

Everything is full of it

Such a long time


Virgins may whisper

"Transparent nightdresses made all of lace"

Virgins may squeak

"My dear I should faint"


...."And then the man---"

Wasting our giggles

For we have no dots


We have been taught

Love is a god

White with soft wings

Nobody shouts

Virgins for sale

Yet where are our coins

For buying a purchaser

Love is a god

Marriage expensive

A secret well kept

Makes the noise of the world

Nature's arms spread wide

Making room for us

Room for all of us

Somebody who was never

a virgin

Has bolted the door

Put curtains at our windows

See the men pass

They are going somewhere


Fleshes like weeds

Sprout in the light

So much flesh in the world

Wanders at will


Some behind curtains

Throbs to the night

Bait to the stars

Spread it with gold

And you carry it home

Against your shirt front

To a shaded light

With the door locked

Against virgins who

Might scratch





Gertrude Stein



of the laboratory

of vocabulary

she crushed

the tonnage

of consciousness

congealed to phrases

to extract

a radium of the word





I Almost Saw God in the Metro


In that state of animated coma

the condition of clochard

this gray-head slumped on a platform bench

like the Emperor of Void

on a throne to which no one pretends

is wrapped in aloofness august

as deity--

an inordinate flower

opening undefiled

among ordure.




Ceiling at Dawn


Afloat in oval of unclosing eye


white-washed shadow-drifts

of indoor dawn

film idle clouds--


a Cinema-Nirvana


pallid ideograms

and epitaphs of dreams


upon a white slab slanted.


Visual echoes

in blanched rows


--the dissolved, derouted

traffic of slumber--


an acrid air-flower

adrowse in the etiolate pasture

of our arousing


as droning day


in early light

the spectral acre


under the sunless artifice

of this four-cornered sky,


lingering flies

convolve their slim-winged circles





"I Almost Saw God in the Metro," and "Ceiling at Dawn"

Reprinted from The Last Lunar Baedeker, edited and introduced by Roger L. Conover (Highlands, North Carolina: The Jargon Society, 1982). Copyright ©1982 by The Jargon Society. Reprinted by permission of Roger L. Conover.


"Lunar Baedeker," "Virgins Plus Curtains Minus Dots," and "Gertrude Stein"

Reprinted from The Lost Lunar Baedeker, selected and edited by Roger L. Conover. Copyright ©1996 by the Estate of Mina Loy. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus, and Giroux