Translated from Polish by Piotr Florczyk
When they execute me,
not everything will come to an end.
who shot me dead will approach
and say: as young
as my daughter.
And he’ll lower his head.
Born in 1909 in Warsaw, Poland, Anna Swir (Świrszczyńska) is widely considered one of Poland’s most distinguished poets. Profoundly marked by World War II, especially the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, during which she volunteered as a nurse, Swir explores in her poems the joys and horrors of human nature and the female body. She died in Kraków in 1984.
Piotr Florczyk is a poet, essayist, and translator of six volumes of Polish poetry, including The World Shared: Poems by Dariusz Sośnicki (co-translated with Boris Dralyuk) and The Day He’s Gone: Poems 1990–2013 by Paweł Marcinkiewicz. He lives in Santa Monica. He is the translator of Building the Barricade: and other poems of Anna Swir.
“A Girl Scout’s Dream” ran in TLR: Women’s Studies.
More poems by Anna Swir
More by Piotr Florczyk