Lidia Kosk is the author of ten books of poetry and short stories, including two bilingual volumes, Niedosyt/Reshapings and Slodka woda, slona woda/Sweet Water, Salt Water, as well as a poetry anthology that she compiled and edited. Her poems and prose have been published in literary journals and anthologies in Poland and in the U.S. English translations of her poems have appeared in numerous publications, including anthologies such as Contemporary Writers of Poland; September Eleven: Maryland Voices Anthology; Against Agamemnon: War Poetry 2009; and literary magazines such as Passager, Loch Raven Review, The Fourth River, The Gunpowder Review, The Dirty Goat, and International Poetry Review. They have also been broadcast in a weekly program of Polish Radio. In addition, she collaborated with her late husband, Henryk P. Kosk, on the two-volume Poland’s Generals: A Popular Biographical Lexicon, published 1998-2001.She resides in Warsaw, Poland, where she is helping to spread a renaissance of oral-history performance, and she presently leads literary workshops and a Poets’ Theater.
Danuta E. Kosk-Kosicka (translator) writes in two languages, English and Polish. Her poems have been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies in the U.S. and Europe. She is the translator for two bilingual poetry books by Lidia Kosk: niedosyt/reshapings and Slodka woda, slona woda/ Sweet Water, Salt Water. Her translations of poems by three Maryland Poets Laureate – Lucille Clifton, Josephine Jacobsen, and Linda Pastan – have been published in Poland; her translations of poems by Lidia Kosk, Ernest Bryll, and Wislawa Szymborska have appeared in over 50 publications in the U.S. A scientist, poet, writer, poetry translator, photographer, and co-editor of the literary journal Loch Raven Review, she resides in Maryland, U.S.
Both poets were featured recently by Baltimore’s WYPR in a radio interview with Aaron Henkin: Danuta E. Kosk-Kosicka in the studio and Lidia Kosk by phone from Warsaw. The interview included some of Ms. Kosk’s poems read in Polish (L.K.) and English (D.E.K.K). The link is http://www.wypr.org/category/
“The Moon Above the Wild Apple Tree” The moon has various connotations in Polish culture, including a legend that placed one Mr. Twardowski, the hero of a ballad by the great Romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz, living on the moon. But this poem does not mention Mr. Twardowski. Rather, the one who seems to inhabit the moon is Lidia Kosk’s lifetime companion, her husband, with whom for decades she watched the moon from the balcony of their Warsaw apartment, in its various phases, kinds of weather, and moods. Even on the moon, he remains the companion who has always needed her presence and whose presence she feels.
The Moon Above the Wild Apple Tree
by Lidia Kosk (translated by Danuta E. Kosk-Kosicka)
Suddenly I find you
peeking into the apartment’s windows—
suspended above the wild apple tree
you reside on the moon
whose growing and fading
we used to follow
from our balcony
but this cold glare—
I search for the warmth of your eyes
of when you stood beside me
in the dazzle of the full moon
today in its next phase
with a hazy ring predicting bad weather
the moon glances uncertainly
from the depth of secret shadows
you did not hide deeply
you had no liking for
rocky craters, waterless deserts
and you needed my presence.