Life by Jerzi Ficowski – translated by Jennifer Grotz & Piotr Sommer

Already there are already plants

already they are blooming

Then it’s our turn

Then their’s again


We’ve stopped in

only for a moment

Flowers are older than us

It’s not youth but the speed of plants

that confuses us


Unmoving green

outruns the reds

of our blood


If we meet

it will be here

it will be now

between the green

and the green




Jennifer Grotz’s most recent book of poems is Window Left Open (Graywolf Press). She is the director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences.

Piotr Sommer is the author of Continued (Wesleyan University Press) and Overdoing It (Hobart and William Smith Colleges Press). His collected poems, Po Ciemku Też, (Also In The Dark) appeared in Poland in 2013.

Jerzy Ficowski (1924-2006) was a poet, songwriter, and scholar on the Polish Roma population as well as the writer-artist Bruno Schulz. Recent translations of Ficowski’s poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, The Nation, New York Review of Books, and Ploughshares.