The Mature Laurel
The poets of Poland witnessed sweeping changes throughout the twentieth century: often writing under repressive conditions, or in exile, their country is central to their work. Its plight has caused the very creative act to be questioned and reviewed.
The essays in The Mature Laurel trace the course of Polish poetry from Norwid to the New Wave, virtually the whole of the last century. They feature individual writers, most notably Herbert, Roiewicz, Milosz and Szymborska, but also more general issues: writing under Stalinism, the distortion of translation, relationships with visual art. The book also includes a section of shorter essays in which British critics discuss individual poems by Herbert, Norwid, Milosz and Rozewicz.