They will greet you with mysterious
smiles, those who were there before you.
Later, when new ones arrive, you will already
know it all.

You will welcome them with the same smile and
show them in.
With a sweeping gesture you will present
the freshly made beds and the expansive view of the gardens.

At last, when they will have composed themselves a little,
you will explain
where they are and what the future has in store for them.

Translation of “Pomieszczenia i ogrody." Copyright Grzegorz Wróblewski. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2011 by Agnieszka Pokojska. All rights reserved.

Będą się do ciebie tajemniczo
uśmiechać ci, którzy przybędą tam przed tobą.
A potem, gdy nadejdą następni, ty będziesz już
wszystko wiedział.

Przywitasz ich takim samym uśmiechem i
wejdziecie razem do środka.
Powolnym ruchem dłoni wskażesz im
świeżo pościelone łóżka i rozległy widok na ogrody.

Na koniec, gdy już nieco ochłoną,
gdzie się znaleźli i co ich w przyszłości czeka.

© Grzegorz Wróblewski

Polish text provided with the assistance of the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

Grzegorz WróblewskiGrzegorz Wróblewski

Grzegorz Wróblewski, born in 1962 in Gdansk and raised in Warsaw, has been living in Copenhagen since 1985. He has published nine volumes of poetry and two collections of short prose pieces in Poland; three books of poetry, a book of poetic prose and an experimental novel (translations) in Denmark; and a book of selected poems in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as a selection of plays. His work has been translated into eight languages.

The English translations of his poems and/or plays have appeared in London Magazine, Poetry London, Magma Poetry, Parameter Magazine, Poetry Wales, The Delinquent, Chicago Review, 3rd bed, Eclectica, Mississippi Review, Absinthe: New European Writing, Common Knowledge, Word Riot, Practice: New Writing + Art, The Mercurian–A Theatrical Translation Review, Lyric, Sibila, CounterPunch, Exquisite Corpse, Jacket Magazine, West Wind Review and in the following anthologies: Altered State: The New Polish Poetry (Arc Publications, Todmorden, UK 2003), Carnivorous Boy Carnivorous Bird (Zephyr Press, Brookline, USA 2004), A Generation Defining Itself–In Our Own Words (MW Enterprises, USA 2007).

A volume of his selected poems Our Flying Objects (Equipage Press, Cambridge, UK) was published in 2007.

His chapbooks to date are: These Extraordinary People (erbacce-press, Liverpool, UK 2008) and Mercury Project (Toad Press, Claremont, USA 2008), A Rarity (Cervena Barva Press, W. Somerville, USA, 2009).

Translated from PolishPolish by Agnieszka PokojskaAgnieszka Pokojska

Agnieszka Pokojska is a freelance translator and editor, and tutor in literary translation at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, and author of a number of articles on translation. Her translations into Polish include poems by Seamus Heaney, Robert Pinsky, and Derek Walcott.

Her translations of Grzegorz Wróblewski’s poetry appeared in the anthology Carnivorous Boy Carnivorous Bird, in Lyric Poetry Review, West Wind Review, Eclectica Magazine, The Journal, Cambridge Literary Review, The Delinquent, and Poetry Wales and most recently in the chapbook A Rarity published by Cervena Barva Press. Forthcoming, also from Cervena Barva, is a book of poems, The Mainland.