Marcin Sendecki
(Poland, 1967)   
Marcin Sendecki

After the fall of Communism a new generation of poets took the stage that, for the first time in over half a century, found itself free from state censorship. In its newly-won freedom, poetry could turn away from the themes of repression, from its obligation to social commitment, and with a clear conscience could rise against the fathers and elder brothers raised under this repression. The main mouthpiece of this new generation was the journal bruLion (‘Rough Copy’).

In a collective anthology entitled The Barbarians Are Here they proclaimed that tradition had ceased to be sacred.

One such ‘barbarian’ was Marcin Sendecki, then a student of medicine and sociology at Warsaw University. He published his first volume of poems in 1992, and his fourth and latest, Plots, in 1998. Sendecki is a thrifty poet; his collections are thin, his poems habitually short. On the other hand, his style aims at the utmost perfection. Each word is weighed carefully, not least for its sound, and is where it should be. With Sendecki that is an absolute must: his poetry creates fragments of realities in which cause and coherence are difficult to fathom, or hardly at all. His poems are ‘plots’ of sound and meaning which the reader must himself develop. Or rather: the reader must try to take in these fragments without trying to piece them together. At most, that is, if the reader is lucky, he will perceive the aura of a drama, a scene, an image, disturbing, now integrating now disintegrating: ‘Drowning to achieve unquestionable knowledge. / Rubbing your hair dry and changing your clothes. / Then find a place in the shade. / Sleep comes silently like a shower of defoliant.’

© Gerard Rasch (Translated by Ko Kooman)

[Marcin Sendecki took part in the Poetry International Festival Rotterdam 2001. This text was written on that occasion.]


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