Page 18FCEBD2B-4FEB-41E0-A69A-B0D02E5410AERectangle 52 Przejdź do treści

Welcome to "Przekrój"!

In case you wonder where you are, and especially since you probably can’t pronounce the name of this website, here’s a little help. “Przekrój” (pron. ‘p-SHEH-crooy’) is the oldest magazine about society and culture in Poland. Now it’s also available in English!

“Przekrój” Magazine brings to the English reader some of the best journalism from across Central and Eastern Europe, in such fields as culture, society, ecology and literature. Stand aside from the haste and fierceness of everyday news and join us now!

“The women cluster at the cathedral,/ hair in careful bouffant helmets/ armored and elegant, poised ...
2020-08-12 09:00:00
deep soundings

The Simple

“Cloud Shadow After the Disturbance Period. (Midday) — Jena, September 10th 1887”. Image by Eduard Pechuël-Loesche/e-rara
The Simple
The Simple

Click here to read an introduction to this poem.

If you are reading this poem on a mobile phone, we recommend rotating the view to horizontal (landscape) orientation.


The women cluster at the cathedral,
hair in careful bouffant helmets,
armored and elegant, poised to herd
                                                            into Mystery.
I think, I’ll do that too, but tear up I can’t
                                                            say why.

Stand still. Wind wisps my hair that gently
you brush like stardust from my eyes. Light shifts
and colors sharpen. Across the square the Grand
                                                            Hotel sparkles with
                                                            chandeliers, mirrors
upon mirrors in gold-leaf frames: the soaring empty space
                                                            of the Symbolic.

Throngs pass in and out of these yawning
doors, the alacritous doormen, the language
of bodies feeling fear, love, pain – desire –
                                                            equitably: a gift
                                                            of insight
we hadn’t asked for or realized we’d received,
                                                            a simple,

an edge of the Negative: not simple
but potent, to refuse absolutes, remain
in process, a healing the (my) emotional
                                                            body in order
                                                            to keep open
the possible. The huddling women who’d seemed
so done up

are wounded, not not beautiful,
as in the strength with which they clutch one
another, eloquent now their faces have character,
                                                            expressed in
                                                            the parlance
of style we could read but not speak, always our
                                                            broken word.





A high five for “Przekrój”? Or maybe a ten? By supporting PRZEKRÓJ Foundation, you support humour, reliability and charm.

25 zł ≈ €5.50 / $6.50

* Required fields


Cynthia Hogue

is Emerita Professor of English at Arizona State University. She has published nine collections of poetry, co-authored “When the Water Came: Evacuees of Hurricane Katrina” (interview-poems with photographs by Rebecca Ross), and is an active translator from contemporary French poetry. Hogue’s 10th collection of poetry, “War’s Chorus, a Love Story”, will be published in 2023.