Eternal Enemies."/>

Design Observer

About
Books
Job Board
Newsletters
Archive
Contact



Observatory

About
Resources
Submissions
Contact


Featured Writers

Michael Bierut
William Drenttel
John Foster
Jessica Helfand
Alexandra Lange
Mark Lamster
Paul Polak
Rick Poynor
John Thackara
Rob Walker


Departments

Advertisement
Audio
Books
Collections
Dear Bonnie
Dialogues
Essays
Events
Foster Column
From Our Archive
Gallery
Interviews
Miscellaneous
New Ideas
Opinions
Partner News
Photos
Poetry
Primary Sources
Projects
Report
Reviews
Slideshows
The Academy
Today Column
Unusual Suspects
Video


Topics

Advertising
Architecture
Art
Books
Branding
Business
Cities / Places
Community
Craft
Culture
Design History
Design Practice
Development
Disaster Relief
Ecology
Economy
Education
Energy
Environment
Fashion
Film / Video
Food/Agriculture
Geography
Global / Local
Graphic Design
Health / Safety
History
Housing
Ideas
Illustration
India
Industry
Info Design
Infrastructure
Interaction Design
Internet / Blogs
Journalism
Landscape
Literature
Magazines
Media
Museums
Music
Nature
Obituary
Other
Peace
Philanthropy
Photography
Planning
Poetry
Politics / Policy
Popular Culture
Poverty
Preservation
Product Design
Public / Private
Public Art
Religion
Reputations
Science
Shelter
Social Enterprise
Sports
Sustainability
Technology
Theory/Criticism
Transportation
TV / Radio
Typography
Urbanism
Water


Comments (3) Posted 08.19.08 | PERMALINK | PRINT

Adam Zagajewski

"Describing Paintings"


We usually catch only a few details —



grapes from the seventeenth century,
still fresh and gleaming,
perhaps a fine ivory fork,
or a cross's wood and drops of blood,
and great suffering that has already dried.
The shiny parquet creaks.
We're in a strange town —
almost always in a strange town.
Somewhere a guard stands and yawns.
An ash branch sways outside the window.
It's absorbing,
describing static paintings.
Scholars devote tomes to it.
But we're alive,
full of memory and thought,
love, sometimes regret,
and at moments we take a special pride
because the future cries in us
and its tumult makes us human.


"Describing Paintings" from Eternal Enemies by Adam Zagajewski, translated by Clare Cavanagh. Compilation copyright © 2008 by Adam Zagajewski. Translation copyright © 2008 by Clare Cavanagh. Used by kind permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. All Rights Reserved.



Share This Story

RELATED POSTS


Accidental Mysteries, 11.25.12


Beautiful and Terrible: Aeriality and the Image of Suburbia


What's Inside?


Accidental Mysteries, 10.28.12


Illuminating the Petrochemical Landscape



RSS Subscribe to Comment Feed

Comments (3)   |   JUMP TO MOST RECENT >>

oh what soul what soul.
franklin peters
08.22.08 at 11:03

Very very cool
Chris
08.23.08 at 08:54

Good description!)
Rock
09.02.08 at 09:57



LOG IN TO POST A COMMENT
Don't have an account? Create an account. Forgot your password? Click here.

Email


Password




|
Share This Story



Adam Zagajewski was born in Lvov in 1945. His previous books include Tremor, Mysticism for Beginners, Without EndSolidarity, Solitude, Two CitiesAnother Beauty and A Defense of Ardor — all published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He lives in Paris and Houston.
More >>

DESIGN OBSERVER JOBS