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Our Life Grows

Our Life Grows

by Ryszard Krynicki, translated from the Polish by Alissa Valles, afterword by Adam Michnik

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The Polish poet Ryszard Krynicki, born in a Nazi labor camp in Austria in 1943, became one of the most prominent poets of the New Wave generation of 1968, his poetry offering what Adam Michnik has called “a strange and beautiful marriage of Joseph Conrad's heroic ethics with a great metaphysical perspective.” Krynicki is the author of a body of work marked at once by the solitude of a poète maudit and solidarity with a hurt and manipulated community. Our Life Grows, published in Paris in 1978, was the first poetry collection to appear as Krynicki intended, beyond the reach of the Communist censorship that had crippled his earlier books. These poems, combining a biting wit and rigorously questioning mind with a surreal imagination, are a vital part of the story of postwar Europe.

Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Poets
ISBN: 9781681371603
Pages: 120
Publication Date:


Krynicki has a rare gift of naming things even in shortest poems; he goes straight to the essence. Among Polish poets and readers he has the reputation of a master, of an archer who never misses.
—Adam Zagajewski

His dense verbal play, his allusive language, was always a way of challenging official speech and ideology, normative language, normative feeling.
—Edward Hirsch

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