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“The word apple doesn’t contain in it any truth”

by Tadeusz Dąbrowski

translated from the Polish by Jennifer Carter-Zielińska

The word apple doesn’t contain in it any truth
about apple, nor about its shape, color, scent
or taste. Truth isn’t for watching, smelling,
or tasting. Saying apple, you barely eat it.

In the space between the word apple and apple-truth
is where apple happens. The space between the word death
and death-truth is the largest. In it is where
life happens. Between the word truth and truth happens



Tadeusz Dąbrowski (b. 1979) is a Polish poet, essayist, and critic who has won, among other honors, the Hubert Burda Prize (2008) and, from Tadeusz Różewicz, the Prize of the Foundation for Polish Culture (2006). His first collection to appear in English will soon be released by Zephyr Press. He lives in Gdańsk. (5/2009)

Jennifer Carter-Zielińska, an American freelance translator, lives in Sopot, Poland. In addition to numerous commercial and scientific translations, she has published translations of work by Kazimierz Wierzyński, Andrzej Wajda, and Zbigniew Rossa. (5/2009)

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