Poet: Czeslaw Milosz

This World (Ten Świat) by Czeslaw Milosz

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A brilliant animated poem from Zbigniew Czapla, a Polish screenwriter, director, animator, painter and graphic artist. It was recently featured on Tin House Reels, accompanied by one of their usual engaging write-ups.

Zbigniew Czapla created this week’s Tin House Reels feature, This World—a short based on the poem of the same title by Czeslaw Milosz—at the invitation of the Fundacja Pogranicze, as part of a multimedia exhibition at the Museum of Czeslaw Milosz in Krasnogruda. Czapla calls his project “a catastrophic vision and poetic perspective on human life as a set of secrets, accidents, and misunderstandings.”


“Poetry is a difficult subject for animation,” Czapla said. “It should at all costs avoid banality, infantile associations, and overwrought pathos. The text and sound work together around themes, as in jazz improvisation. Topics connect, overlap, and move away from each other in a game of associations.”

“Animated experimental film is a way for me to combine my various fascinations. Painting, music, theater and literature are like pieces of a puzzle, which I try to organize in a new way. If the end result for me is mysterious and unknown, that it is worth doing. The expected effects do not interest me. A lot of the work ends up being unsuccessful, but that always comes with artistic risk.”

Read the rest.

Ars Poetica? by Czeslaw Milosz

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A Moving Poems production (with fingers crossed that Milosz’s heirs aren’t too litigious). The audio is Milosz himself, not the same translation as the one that made it into the Collected Poems (which you can read here).

This was “found video” rather than something deliberately planned and acted to go along with the poem, though of course I edited it to make a better fit.