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The mutilated world

In Paris Adam Zagajewski, one of Poland’s most distinguished contemporary poets, penned many of his most important works, including the poem To go to Lvov. This poem is often regarded as his most distinguished piece of work – a story of death and destruction, but also about life.

On September 11th 2001, the day of the terrorist attack on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon building in Washington, DC, the editors of the New Yorker gathered in the evening to decide how their magazine should ade-quately react to the tragic events of that day. The editor-in-chief, David Remnick, suggested the best way to commemorate the victims in the next issue – the now famous for its pitch black cover – would be through the publication of a poem. He was convinced that only poet-ry had the power of expression in the aftermath of such a tragedy. The editors thus started their search for the right poem to express the gravity and sorrow of the event, and at first they could not find anything that was adequate.
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June 23, 2021 - Jacek Hajduk - Issue 4 2021MagazineStories and ideas

Adam Zagajewski was considered one of the Polish candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Unfortunately it will never be awarded to him. He passed away on March 21st 2021. Photo: Udoweier (CC) commons.wikimedia.org

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