“Poem for Adults” is one of the most remarkable, documents of our time; nothing that has yet appeared in print, except Czeslaw Milosz’ great book The Captive Mind, so fully reveals the despair felt by intellectuals and writers at having to live in the prison-house of totalitarianism.
Adam Wazyk belongs to the generation of Polish poets that started writing before the war. As soon as the Nazis were driven out of Poland, Wazyk helped found a literary weekly Kuznica (“The Smithy”) which became an aggressive spokesman for “socialist realism” in literature. For a time he was one of the most ardent defenders of the Polish Communist line in cultural matters.
The immediate conditions behind the publication of “Poem for Adults” are described in the Translator’s Note that follows the poem. We are grateful to the English monthly, The Twentieth Century, in which Lucian Blit’s excellent translat...
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