Adam Zagajewski Quotes

Adam Zagajewski (born 21 June 1945 in Lwów) is a Polish poet, novelist, translator and essayist. He was awarded the 2004 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize Lifetime Recognition Award

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Adam Zagajewski


Human life and objects and trees vibrate with mysterious meanings, which can be deciphered like cuneiform writing. There exists a meaning, hidden from day to day, but accessible in moments of greatest attentiveness, in those moments when consciousness loves the world.

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A certain traveler who knew many continents was asked what he found most remarkable of all. He replied: the ubiquity of sparrows.

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Cities at daybreak are no one's, and have no names. And I, too, have no name, dawn, the stars growing pale, the train picking up speed.

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But I was only a chaotic walker, nobody could stop me; even a totalitarian state was not able to control my daydreams, my poetic fascinations, the pattern of my walking.

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In summer the empire of insects spreads.

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Read for yourselves, read for the sake of your inspiration, for the sweet turmoil in your lovely head. But also read against yourselves, read for questioning and impotence, for despair and erudition... and also read those whose darkness or malice or madness or greatness you can't understand because only in this way will you grow, outlive yourself, and become what you are.

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I drink from a small spring, / my thirst excedes the ocean.

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Time takes life away and gives us memory, gold with flame, black with embers.

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Clear moments are so short. There is much more darkness. More ocean than terra firma. More shadow than form.

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And now, advice for beginning mystics. Be sober, be intelligent, be educated, rely on the tangible reality as long as you can. Remember that the act of writing is a tiny part of a bigger something. Defend the value of the spiritual experience and if somebody tells you it's an old fashioned notion, laugh loudly and serenely.

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A little rain, a little blood. Black fingernails in August; and going berserk, going bananas. As if entrapped in a tropical heatwave, with dozens of whirlwinds swirling in oneâ??s mind, one thinks of a way out, or a way in: out of the scorching bosom of a volcano, and in â?? into the centre of a raging hurricane. And tracing the labyrinthine ways of your mind, the haphazard vagaries of your thoughts at ease, the odds and ends of your mental surplus you carelessly throw at the world, one wants to be at a loss, in a maze; amazed, and amazingly unabashed.

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Gabriel Levin's book is a journey through time and through entrenched animosities of the Middle East. What's astonishing and refreshing is his ability to combine the reporter's perspective with a deep knowledge of poetry, including pre-Islamic Arab poems. A brilliant poet is at work here-a poet in the rugged landscape of conflict and pain.

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This day's nothingness as if from spite became a flame and scorched the lips of children and poets.

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Once in a while it vanishes - in the sense that I become deaf to beauty for a week or two or three. This coming and going of the inner life - because this is what it is - is a curse and a blessing. I don't need to explain why it's a curse. A blessing because it brings about a movement, an energy which, when it peaks, creates a poem. Or a moment of happiness.

Adam Zagajewski


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Time takes life away and gives us memory, gold with flame, black with embers.

Adam Zagajewski


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