Translated by Przemyslaw Musialowski 12/15/2008
A| Small town, a mixed bunch of
B| ocupants in place of refugees
C| on two floors furnished rooms,
D| where there were no ghosts, and no living too
E| in the sideboard faience, ear made of porcelain
F| room with furniture in the retro style
G| wardrobe hangers, but no musty clothes
H| boots standing to attention as if redying themselves to march
A1| and at a neighbor (no elevator in the building)
A1| still geburstag meat from some cheap butchery,
A| as if the show was starting again,
B| but is it worth to look so carefully,
C| if the doors of all tenements
D| are open wide because it is now finished:
E| the war toil of successful annexations
F| so oblivion had sank into obscurity
G| and for those who did not believe or denied the one and only truth
H| they sent valenki from a penal company
A2| as for Joseph born from mother from over the Bug
A2| who had extra stuff packed
Copyright © by Wieslaw Musialowski 12/3/2008
The poem Recollections occupies a special place in Wieslaw Musialowski's work due to the length and rhythmic pattern used, which allows for a variety of readings.
The poem concerns the history of Emilia Musialowska, grandmother of Wieslaw Musialowski, and the tragic fate of her son Joseph.
Emilia Musialowska, née Szczepańska, born in Kamieniec Podolski, was exiled to Irkutsk with her family. After the end of the Second World War she returned to Kamieniec, and then, after the division of Europe in Yalta, she left for Poland, to the city of Niemodlin, which was a part of former German territories. She lived in a small apartment on Żeromskiego street. Wanting to unite the whole family, she convinced her youngest son Joseph to return to Poland from Belgium. After his return he was immediately arrested by the Secret Political Police (UB) under the suspicion of spying for the Allies. He was detained in a tiny cell, he was beaten and tormented in a sophisticated manner to confess to espionage. One of the forms of torture used was the dripping water, which dripped constantly, without stopping, twenty-four hours a day. Every now and then, Joseph was released from the prison and locked in a mental hospital, where various pharmaceuticals had been administered to him.
After a few years of such 'therapy', he died.