The Forgotten Keys

by Tomasz Różycki
translated from Polish by Mira Rosenthal
(Zephyr Press, 2007)

Buy it from Zephyr or Amazon

Over the last ten years, Polish poet Tomasz Różycki has garnered almost every prize Poland has to offer, as well as widespread critical and popular acclaim in translation in numerous languages. He is the author of seven volumes of poetry, including the epic poem Twelve Stations, which won the Kościelski Prize, and the sonnet cycle Colonies, which was nominated for the Nike Prize. Różycki is considered to be an inheritor of the tradition of Czesław Miłosz and Adam Zagajewski, and his highly formal work deals with questions of both literary and ancestral tradition. He lives in his hometown of Opole with his wife and two children and teaches at Opole University.

Praise for The Forgotten Keys:

“‘Personal’ for Różycki means also transpersonal; the persona of his poetry holds the memory of an entire family or tribe, or perhaps even of society in general. And there’s no mockery here. Różycki’s poetry is serious, a private response to the historic moment. Without a doubt, a vital new poet has emerged from the Polish language.” —Adam Zagajewski, from the Foreword

“Born of parents who were forced to immigrate from Lwów (in what is now Ukraine) to the western border of Poland, Różycki, now 41, writes with the divided sensibility bequeathed by that compelled family resettlement… Although the past is a constant theme in Różycki’s work, the present erupts with no less urgency… Now to wait for the next book by a selfless translator attempting the impossible.” —Helen Vendler (read the full review)

“Even an informal skimming of this books confirms that Różycki is a talent to cherish, and reading him in the chronological arrangement chosen by the translator allows us to trace the poet’s development… [He] has the talent, stamina, and imagination to entertain and move even the most seasoned reader.” —Piotr Florczyk, West Branch (read the full review)