of all the news and commentary coming out of kiev, this is certainly the most glittery thing i’ve come across. ”heat” by quest pistols. AWESOME.
you touch the language — and it seems
to you softer than soft.
even when a word is pronounced differently
— its essence remains ours.
at the beginning, like this: as if a woeful horseshoe
is being bent in your hands
and then suddenly — language! language!
a foreign one — sounds to me like my own.
because it isn’t just a language, not just sounds
not just the coldness of a dictionary
— in these, work, sweat, and sufferings are heard
— that sense of a single family.
in these, a forest murmurs and a flower blossoms,
the joys of the people ripple.
one can hear one common thread that runs through them,
from antiquity through today.
—"the feeling of a single family," p. tychyna (trans. taras koznarsky & marta baziuk).
occasionally when wandering around warsaw, i’d come across these markers of the former boundaries of the warsaw ghetto. in a city full of historical markers, i found these particularly powerful — a reminder that the streets that are now so cheerful and open were not too long ago divided.
a plaque above the marker offers a brief history of the warsaw ghetto.
warsaw moves on, but doesn’t forget.
i passed this mural on al. jana pawla II one evening on the tram and knew i wanted to come back and take a closer look. it’s HUGE and its use of currency symbols alongside the military images is pretty cool.
the euro symbol merges with the image of a sickle on the soldiers rappelling down the building.
i love the way the mural incorporates the features of the building.
open window. open mouth. very cool.
the bunker at miła 18 was the headquarters of the jewish combat organization, a resistance group in the warsaw ghetto. on may 8, 1943 nazis attacked the bunker as they worked to crush the ghetto uprising. though some of the almost 300 people inside escaped, leaders of the movement chose to remain underground, where they committed mass suicide rather than surrendering. their remains were not exhumed and after the war the place became a place of remembrance.
in 1946, a mound (anielewicz mound) — built from the rubble of destroyed homes — was erected on the site. memorial stones commemorate the sacrifice of mordechaj anielewicz and the ghetto fighters.
a peaceful spot of remembrance.
here they rest, buried where they fell, to remind us that the whole earth is their grave.
walking along the wisla by wawel i came across “trace,” designed by aleksander janicki as part of 2011’s milosz year celebration. i don’t remember having seen the installation when i was in krakow during milosz year, but i’m happy to have come across it this summer. it features an enlarged cutout of milosz’s thumb print with metal letters collected in the box underneath. very cool.
this AWESOME statue of kazimierz the great appeared at the foot of wawel sometime over the summer. i neglected to get any details about it and it seems like it might be temporary (it’s not metal, but some kind of lighter material), but it’s certainly a welcome addition to the already wonderful wawel/wisla area. krakow’s the best.
pomysl: literatura! was painted in 2012 as part of the conrad festival. it references stanislaw lem and there’s a portrait of him above the robot. so cute!
mayamural was right around the corner from the lem mural and was also painted in 2012. it refers to the prophesied end of the world on 21.12.2012.
game over? guess not.
i love these fun little discoveries that seem to pop up around every corner. krakow is the BEST.
karma cafe was one of my favorite spots during my first spring in krakow. i discovered it in the winter and was there pretty much every day after that. as much as i love their carrot bread and lattes, it was a favorite barista that kept me (and MW & AP) coming back. we called him “future husband” and used to discuss what we were convinced were hearts made in our coffee foam. one day the foam in my latte was a mess — as AP and i laughed about how it was a clear sign that “future husband” didn’t love me, he came over and having evidently overheard, commented that he “made an artichoke.”
silly, generally ridiculous, and a memory that makes me really miss those days.
i still visit karma when in krakow, but “future husband” seems to have moved on. and it’s not the same without him, AP, and MW. and that coffee…no heart OR artichoke. where’s the fun in that?