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The exile's experience : an examination of the poetry of Hilde Domin and Waclaw Iwaniuk Kilian, Monica 1987

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THE EXILE'S EXPERIENCE: AN EXAMINATION OF THE POETRY OF HILDE DOMIN AND WAC£AW IWANIUK by MONIKA KILIAN B . A . , The University of Bri t i sh Columbia, 1984 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Programme in Comparative Literature) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA February 1987 0 Monika K i l i a n , 1987 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date 7 ^ . 2S}/3$J-DE-6(3/81) i i ABSTRACT This thesis examines the effect of the experience of exile on the German poet Hilde Domin and the Polish poet Waclaw Iwaniuk. Their involuntary exi le , their departure from their respective native cultures and languages has affected them profoundly, both as individuals and as poets. The exiled poet l ives in the conflicting world of the exile: on the one hand, he attempts to maintain his close ties to his native language and culture, while on the other hand, he is constantly assailed by the demands of his new and alien environment. He is thus plunged into a cr i s i s of identity. This thesis examines this cr i s i s by concentrating on the aspect of language as a reference point of the poet's identity. Through a close examination of a selection of the poetry of Domin and Iwaniuk, I have attempted to discover how they express their personal experiences of exi le , which problems they are most concerned with, and, f i n a l l y , how they attempt to solve these problems. Their poetry expresses similar concerns, such as feelings of insecurity, ins tab i l i ty and loss, as well as a wish to recover a sense of security. Both Domin and Iwaniuk are aware of the danger of becoming poetic nonentities in their exile , because their l ink with their native language is threatened. Recognizing the poet's power to find security in his language (which in turn enables him to reassert his identity through his poetry), they both attempt, in different ways, to preserve their identit ies as poets by writ ing. i i i Domin is on the whole more successful than Iwaniuk in defining herself through her language. She believes that language is an inseparable part of her, which naturally finds i ts expression through her writings. Iwaniuk, on the other hand, is more self-conscious about his language; the preservation of his native language as his poetic tool takes the form of struggle. This fact is not only reflected in the content of the two poets' poetry, but also in i ts form and style: Domin's language and poetry seem generally more spontaneous and harmonious, whereas Iwaniuk's language and poetry appear to be chiselled inte l lectual ly , as i f i t resisted the author's efforts. iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract i i Acknowledgements v Introduction 1 Chapter I - Hllde Domin 5 Chapter II - Waclaw Iwaniuk 31 Chapter III - A Comparison of Domin and Iwaniuk 60 Conclusion 81 Footnotes 83 Works cited 89 Works consulted 90 Appendix 92 V ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I wish to thank my supervisor Dr. Marketa Goetz-Stankiewicz for her suggestions and help while I was writing this thesis. In addition, I would l ike to thank my readers Dr. Peter Petro and Dr. Peter Stenberg for their cooperation in enabling me to meet an important deadline. 1 INTRODUCTION Von Herberge zu Herberge Vergessenheit. Der eigene Name wird etwas Fremdes.-'-Jede Form von Emigration verursacht an sich schon unvermeidlicherweise eine Art von Gleichgewichtssto'rung, und ich zo'gere nicht zu bekennen, dass seit dem Tage, da ich mit eigentlich fremden Papieren oder Passen leben musste, ich mich nie mehr ganz als mit mir zusammengehb'rig empfand. Etwas von der natiirlichen Identitat mit meinem ursprunglichen und eigentlichen Ich blieb fur immer zersto'rt.^ These words written by Stefan Zweig also hold true for Hilde Domin and Waclaw Iwaniuk, two poets from different social and cultural backgrounds, united in their common experience as exiles. The above quote touches on one of the most fundamental and problematic dilemmas facing the writer in exile: the problem of preserving his identity, particularly his identity as a writer in a different cultural and l inguis t ic environment which is unconcerned with him or his writings. The departure of the poets from their native countries, but especially their separation from their native language, their essential source of identif ication as writers, has had a profound effect on both Domin and Iwaniuk. Indeed, for them, the inevitable cr i s i s of identity as poets, but also as persons, is the foremost theme in their poetry. The poet in exile is placed in the d i f f i c u l t and paradoxical position of l iv ing simultaneously in two opposing worlds: his past, which formed his identity, and his present, which threatens his identity. This conf l ict , i f unsolved, may have 2 signif icant, indeed destructive consequences on the poet. In the words of Cioran, a Romanian exile: "He who abandons his language, changes his personality, and commits treason on a heroic scale by breaking with his past, and - in some measure - with himself." Though acutely aware of these dire confl icts , Domin and Iwaniuk wish to avoid the negative consequences of losing their identity, of facing total insecurity, l inguis t i c , and otherwise. The question of language (and what language means to them), as well as the manner in which exile affected them as poets and. as people, are some of the most prominent themes of their poetry. This thesis w i l l examine their personal reflections on the experience of exile as reflected in their poetry. Through a close examination of a selection of their poetry, I have attempted to discover how Domin and Iwaniuk view their situation and how they try to deal with i t . I tried to discover how writers, who, more than anyone else, suffer from being cut off from their native language, manage (or perhaps do not manage) to assert their identity as writers. Although the theme of exile is to be found in epic as well as dramatic texts, I have chosen l y r i c poetry, chiefly because i t is perhaps the most highly personalized form of l i terature and provides direct insights into the poets personal convictions and assessment of his s ituation. The poetry of Domin and Iwaniuk is on the whole not overly concerned with the h is tor ica l and p o l i t i c a l implications of exile , but is rather a reflection of their personal thoughts as individuals. This personalized and individual approach renders their poetry communicative and conveys much of 3 the poet's personal experiences directly to the reader. During the course of the thesis, i t became apparent that merely writing in one's native language is not enough for a poet to preserve his identity with the language (and consequently his identity as a writer) . This is evident in Iwaniuk, who frequently complains about the uncooperative nature of his language, which, through i ts silence, and together with the outside "foreign" world, threatens to undermine his identity as a Polish poet. Domin, on the other hand, has succeeded in not only preserving her identity through language, but in clinging so closely to i t as to be inseparable from i t . Language Is frequently discussed in both Iwaniuk's and Domin's poems, perhaps because in exile the poet becomes increasingly conscious of language as a poss ibi l i ty for ident i f icat ion. Thus endowed with a heightened awareness of language, the poet feels himself to be an inseparable part of i t . For Domin, language achieves this for her, i t is ultimately "das letzte Unverlierbare (Zuhause)",^ a home which no one can take away from her. For Iwaniuk, language also becomes a type of refuge, but a highly unreliable one: he apparently does not find security in using i t . Language thus emerges as a means of poetic survival , which in Domin's case is more successful than in Iwaniuk's. The observation that Domin was more "successful" in her exile than Iwaniuk might reflect the fact that she felt more comfortable with her new environment and i t s language than Iwaniuk did with his; however, in this thesis, I am not trying to establish whether cultural or l inguis t ic closeness to the new environment is responsible for the exiled poet's 4 success. I also wanted to leave aside the actual nature of the new and alien culture surrounding the exi le , and have therefore limited my remarks to language as a means of preserving poetic identity. 5 CHAPTER I HILDE DOMIN Hilde Domin has l ived through a l l the possible phases of exi le , including the return to her country in 1953. She wrote a substantial number of poems in exile , but just as many, i f not more, after her return from exi le . Her eventual return may disqualify her from being termed an exile poet but for the fact that the experience of exile , even after her return, is omnipresent in her works. In Domin's opinion, the experience of exile marks a person's l i f e for good; i t does not end just because the actual p o l i t i c a l situation which causes the exile has changed. Domin once describe exile as "das Nicht-Dazugeho'ren, eine Erfahrung, die man erst stuckweise vol lz ieht , man sieht sie nicht als Ganzes vor s ich. Erst beim Gehen merkt man, wie vertrackt der neue Zustand i s t , wie 'un-heimlich'". 1 Domin's poems often reflect a sentiment of not belonging. The f u t i l i t y of finding security, a constant awareness of the poss ibi l i ty of renewed exile , the loss of a l l roots except language a l l contribute to this sentiment. Her poems witness her inner struggle against real iz ing the impossibility of security, and thus a home, for her. Though this may sound l ike a dismal prospect, Domin's poetry is not pessimistic. It i s , in fact, a poetry of hope, even with the implic i t real ization of the probable f u t i l i t y of this hope - the hope of finding a new beginning: Fur uns, die stets unterwegs sind - lebensla'ngliche Reise, wie zwischen Planeten -nach einem neuen Beginn.^ 6 In l ight of these l ines, the new beginning can only come after death, since the journey "fur uns", the exile , lasts a l i fet ime. However, Domin was privileged to experience in her own l i f e a new beginning, which she described as a type of rebirth, when she started to write poetry: "'Wiedergeburt', das war, als ich plb'tzlich anfing zu schreiben. Diese Wiedergeburt la'sst sich genau datieren: auf den November 1951, fast drei Jahre vor meiner Ruckkehr." J With these words, spoken during an interview with R.A. Bauer in 1971, Hilde Domin expresses her beginnings as a writer. At the age of 39, and in the 19th year of her exi le , Hilde Domin became a poet, and, l i t e r a l l y overnight, wrote the f i r s t of what was to be a considerable number of poems. Why she started to write is a question she cannot answer herself. She simply states, perhaps surprised, that i t just happened - "es passlerte".^ Ever since this occurrence, she has regarded language as her home and as a point of reference for her own identity. Between 1951 and 1953, she wrote many poems, very few of which were published. Her writing became home for her during her time of exile, and prepared thus, she decided to return to the home of the language: Wie ich , Hilde Domin, die Augen offnete, die verweinten, in jenem Hause am Rande der Welt, wo der Pfeffer wachst und der Zucker und die Mangobaume, aber die Rose nur schwer, und Apfel , Weizen, Birken gar nicht, ich verwaist und vertrieben, da stand ich auf und ging heim, in das Wort. 'Ich " richtete mir ein Zimmer ein in der L u f f / unter" den 'Akrobaten' und Vffgeln. ' Von wo ich unvertreibbar bin. Das Wort aber war das deutsche Wort. Deswegen fuhr ich wieder zuriick iiber das Meer, dahin, wo das Wort lebt. Es war drei Jahre nach meiner Geburt. Ich war 22 Jahre weg 5 gewesen. In the end, Domin goes back to her country, but she soon realizes 7 that she is never able to "return home" in the psychological or sp ir i tua l sense, since memories and tangible objects containing the memories she associated with home have been destroyed: Fur uns, denen der Pfosten der Tu'r verbrannt 1st, an dem die Jahre der Kindheit Zentimeter fur Zentimeter eingetragen waren.^ Her return to her city was not experienced as a true return. Since the city is preserved in her memories the way i t was before she le f t , she does not recognize i t upon her return; she is lost in i t s newness and constantly haunted by i ts past. Thus, even after her return, Domin s t i l l senses the aura of the exile surrounding her. Alienated from the c i ty 's current l i f e , she walks, or rather glides l ike a ghost through her native c i ty in her poem entitled "Ko'ln": Die versunkene Stadt fur mich a l l e i n versunken. Ich schwimme in diesen Strassen. Andere gehn. Die alten Hauser haben neue grosse Tu'ren aus Glas. Die Toten und ich wir schwimmen durch die neuen Tu'ren unserer alten Hatiser.^ The f i r s t l ine of this poem is reminiscent of Atlant is , the fabled sunken city of Greek legend. It also discloses a feeling of duality: the word "versunken" has a ring of f ina l i ty to i t ; something which is sunk cannot normally be recovered and remains sunken forever. On the other 8 hand, there might s t i l l be a hope (as some people believe there is for Atlantis) that the city might be recovered. However, as indicated by the t i t l e , this poem is not about a mythical c i ty , but about a real , modern ci ty in Germany, so that the announcement that i t is sunk, seems rather shocking and even absurd. In l ine 2 Domin adds "fur mich", which indicates that i t is sunk for the poet alone, a fact she underlines in l ine 3 with the word "allein". This word not only means "alone", but i t also stands alone within the poem's structure. This pinpoints and intensifies the meaning of the words and also heightens the emphasis of the poem's personal nature, already established in l ine 2. The central word of the poem, "versunken", is s ignif icantly repeated as the very last word of the stanza. This time, i t not only stands alone, but is followed by a f u l l stop which intensifies i ts sense of f i n a l i t y . There is l i t t l e hope of any recovery to be found in this stanza; the city appears to be sunk for good. Each stanza consists of one entire sentence (except the second one, which contains two sentences), interrupted at strategic points to bring out the f u l l drama of the poem's message. Stanza 2 starts with a paradoxical statement typical for Domin: "Ich schwimme / in diesen Strassen". Taken at face value, this sentence Is rather nonsensical (unless, of course, there were a flood). However, as an addition to the f i r s t sentence, i t becomes logical (since a sunken city Is under water, you must necessarily swim through i t s streets). Unti l this point, the poem gives an impression of an underwater atmosphere pervaded by silence and an overwhelming sense of unreality. The city 9 becomes a ghost town in which Domin cannot function normally. Yet in the same stanza (line 7) Domin breaks the underwater spell and reaffirms the essential real i ty of the city for others: other people walk in the streets, they do not swim. The key word here is "andere" - "the others". This indicates a perhaps permanent isolat ion, an irrevocable separation between Domin and the new, real c i ty . It i s , in fact, a description of exile at home. In the last stanza, Domin reveals that she is not the only one swimming in the streets: "Die Toten und ich / wir schwimmen". She associates herself with the dead, f i r s t by mentioning them together with her on the same l ine , and then by referring to this connection as "wir". Even though she is a l ive , she aligns herself with the dead, because i t is the dead, not the l iv ing who share an experience with her. The third stanza takes up another theme: the contrast between old and new, which is also the contrast between memory and rea l i ty . The old houses s t i l l exist, but they now have doors out of glass. The words "aus Glas" occupy a whole l ine; isolated thus, their significance is magnified. By insta l l ing glass doors into old houses which were never meant to have glass doors, the doors become not exactly new and unrecognizable, but disfigured and irretr ievable . The houses are now transparent, anyone can look i n , which indicates that they are no longer bastions of security for protection. "Die deutsche Sprache", observed Domin, "war der Halt, ihr verdanken wir, dass wir die Identita't mlt uns selbst bewahren konnten. Der Sprache wegen bin Ich auch zuruckgekommen".^ Further she says: 10 Zuhausesein, Hingeho'rendurfen, i s t eben keine Frage der Kulisse. Oder auch des Wohlergehens. Es bedeutet, mltverantwortlich zu sein. Nicht nur Fremder zu sein. Sich einmischen kbnnen, no'tigenfalls. Ein Mitspracherecht haben, das mitgeboren i s t . Dabei i s t der Verlust der Zugeho'rigkeit eine Verwundung, die nie ganz vernarbt.^ Domin has experienced that the "loss of belonging" ("Verlust der Zugehb'rigkeit") she underwent in her exile has not been eradicated, and she discovers that she is always considered a stranger: "Unsere Sprache sprichst du", sagen sie u'berall mit Verwundern. Ich bin der Fremde, der ihre Sprache spricht. 1 - ^ Domin's preoccupation with her native language is not surprising when one notes in her poem "Exil" her resentment and sadness in not being able to use her native language. Her language would normally flow fluently from her mouth, but in exile i t slowly dies: Der sterbende Mund mu'ht sich um das r icht ig gesprochene Wort einer fremden Sprache.H The dying mouth, the mouth of the exiled poet, is now obliged to fight with words instead of molding them to give them new l i f e . The poet's mouth is suddenly rendered useless. In her cycle of poems entitled "Ausreiselieder" Domin compares her words, unwanted exiles l ike herself, to butterflies (again the bird image of f lying through the a i r , except that butterflies are perhaps even more dependent on the wind due to their f r a g i l i t y , and are therefore even more suited to represent the exi le): 11 Ungewunschte Kinder meine Worte fr ieren. Kommt ich w i l l euch auf meine warmen Fingerspitzen setzen Schmetterlinge im W i n t e r . ^ Her words thus share her fate; l ike the poet herself, they are also in exi le , as she writes In her poem "Immer kreisen": Immer kreisen auf dem ku'hlen Wind h i l f los kreisen meine Worte heimwehgefiedert nestlos elnst einem La'cheln entgegen keiner tragt das Leben a l l e i n kreisend und kreisend.13 The poet uses the image of the bird to convey the fate of her words. The "bird" of this poem is remarkably similar to the bird without feet of "Vogel Klage" (see p. 24). Like the bird without feet, the bird in this poem is also continuously hovering in the a i r , not because i t has no feet to land with, but because i t has nothing to land on; i t is "nestlos" and "hilflos". The overall impression of this poem is much less tragic than that of "Vogel Klage", because i t s images seem less expl ic i t ly horrifying. In fact, the f i r s t two lines "immer kreisen / auf dem kuhlen Wind" are reminiscent of a bird of prey c i rc l ing i t s victim. This impression is immediately reversed in the third l ine by the word "hilflos", an adjective rarely applied to a predator. Here, the bird is obviously a victim. In the second stanza Domin reveals what is actually 12 c i r c l i n g . After repeating the verb "kreisen" to reinforce the impression of unending c i rc l ing conveyed in the f i r s t stanza, she now names the subject: i t is her words which c i r c l e . However, she continues the bird image by describing her words as "nestlos" and "heimwehgefiedert". "Heimwehgefiedert" is another of Domin's double-edged ideas. It is an unusual combination of words meaning "feathered with homesickness". The two words contributing to this phrase have quite opposite connotations. "Gefiedert" indicates warmth, protection and a nest, whereas "Heimweh" is associated with unhappiness, pain and homelessness. Homesickness then acts as a (rather dubious) plumage. It is surely no coincidence that "heimwehgefiedert" is followed immediately in the next l ine by "nestlos": homesickness is invariably a result of having lost one's home, whether temporarily or permanently. The last stanza of the poem is quite different from the f i r s t two. Not only does i t have longer l ines, but there is also a change of time from the present to the past (though not indicated in a past verb form), where the poet fa l l s into a type of reminiscence: at one time her words went toward a smile, suggesting that once they were heard, appreciated and even enjoyed, whereas now there is no smile for them to reach. Since they are nestless, they are no longer received by anyone. In l ine 8, there is also a change of subject: "keiner tra'gt das Leben a l le in". Here, the poet is obviously referring no longer to birds or words, but to a person, possibly even to herself. The meaning of this l ine is again rather ambiguous. On the one hand, i t is perhaps the saddest statement of the poem, expressing despair at being alone, coupled with a foreboding of 13 death. On the other hand, i t may well be considered the most positive l ine of the poem: assurance that one does not go through l i f e alone, but that there is a community (even i f i t is only a community of fellow "nestless c irc lers") . The poem i t se l f is built on c i rcu lar i ty , both in terms of meaning and of structure. Repeating the word "kreisen" four times in such a short poem intensifies the meaning of this word and entrenches i t in the memory of the reader. It is significant that the word occurs twice In the very last l ine , merely connected by the word "und", which indicates repetition, especially as i t is coupled with verbs in the gerund form. The entire poem is structured on a single sentence uninterrupted by commas or other types of punctuation, and so there is no definable end or beginning within the poem; even the change of tense is not an abrupt grammatical change. The f i r s t word "immer" immediately suggests an unending process, which is thenintensified by "kreisen", a c ircular motion without a definite beginning or end. Furthermore, a l l three stanzas consist of three lines each, forming a regular pattern which imitates the regularity of a c i r c l e . However, although the structure is f a i r ly regular, the individual lines are not. This helps to generate tension in the poem, suggesting that a l l is not well . The last lines of each stanza are the shortest lines (this may also be considered a type of regularity): "hilflos", "nestlos", "kreisend und kreisend". These three lines actually embody the central motif of the poem: the image of the homeless, wandering b ird . Exile is thus represented as an unending c i r c l e , which is d i f f i c u l t , i f not impossible, to break. 14 Nevertheless, Domin concedes that words, unlike people, do have roots, even when they are spoken in exi le; words have their roots in their language, the creator of words, as well as in the poet, who uses and manipulates them. Domin consequently cal ls them "birds with roots": Meine Worte sind Vb'gel mit Wurzeln immer t iefer immer ho'her Nabelschnur. Der Tag blaut aus die Worte sind schlafen gegangen.-^ It is her language that eventually not only becomes a substitute for home, but home i t s e l f . For this reason, Domin is intent on preserving the last , and perhaps only enclave she possesses: Die Sprache, in der ich die Welt gewissenhaft benenne, gewissenhaft mitteilbar mache (und auch so mittei le , dass ich geho'rt werde), die kann nicht wegnehmbar sein, sie i s t die a'usserste Zuflucht. Dieses Zuhause verteidige ich bis zu meinem letzten Atemzug. Wie friiher ein Bauer seine Scholle. Ich kann gar nicht anders.^-* Domin goes to great length about the importance of language In her l i f e . In a chapter of her book Aber' die' Hoffnung entitled "Leben als Sprachodyssee" she gives a type of curriculum vitae from the point of view of language, since she maintains: "In der Tat sind wir ja von Sprache zu Sprache gewandert und haben in jeder unser Leben verdienen mussen".16 She repeatedly tried to "settle" in other languages (Ital ian, English, Spanish) by reading poems: "Gedichte lesend und vorlesend haben wir uns jeweils in der fremden Sprache heimisch gemacht."!7 However, the other languages she acquired and tried to settle in never became a home to her. 15 She was only, she maintains, a guest in them: "In den anderen Sprachen, die ich spreche, bin ich zu Gast. Gem und dankbar zu Gas t ."^ Language is not only home for Domin. She also writes, as she says, out of a need of self-preservation and freedom. "Ich befreite mich durch die Sprache. Ha'tte ich mich nicht befreit , ich lebte nicht mehr,"^ she writes in Aber " die '"Hoffnung, and maintains that "Schreiben war Rettung".20 on an even more decisive note she insists that language, especially i ts written expression, has become as necessary to her as breathing: "Seither i s t Schreiben fur mich wie Atmen: man st irbt wenn man es la'sst."21 Her f i r s t volume of poetry is entitled Nur ' eine " Rose " als " Stfltze. This book is almost exclusively concerned with what one might term exile themes; i t contains, as Horst Meller eloquently sums up "Heimatferne und Heimatsuche... Entgrenzungssehnsucht und wissender Verzicht auf jegliches Heimischwerden, Fluchtangst immer eng benachbart dem unverlierbaren Zufluchtsort der Todesbestimmung, stoisches Vergeblichkeltsbewusstsein, die Trauerarbeit des Abschiednehmens und der tastende Mut eines desi l lusionierten Hoffens."^^ Many of these themes are contained in the poem "Nur eine Rose als Stutze": Ich richte mir ein Zimmer ein in der Luft unter den Akrobaten und V6"geln: mein Bett auf dem Trapez des Gefuhls wie ein Nest Im Wind auf der aussersten Spitze des Zweigs. Ich kaufe mir eine Decke aus der zartesten Wolle der sanftgescheitelten Schafe die im Mondlicht wie schimmernde Wolken iiber die feste Erde ziehn. 16 Ich schliesse die Augen und hiille mich ein in das Vlies der verlasslichen Tiere . Ich w i l l den Sand unter den kleinen Hufen spiiren und das Klicken des RIegels hb'ren, der die Stal l tur am Abend schliesst . Aber ich liege in Vogelfedern, hoch ins Leere gewiegt. [t/o] Mir schwindelt. Ich schlafe nicht ein. Meine Hand greift nach einem Halt und findet nur eine Rose als Stutze.23 This poem sums up the precarious situation of the exile as envisaged by Domin: she is anchored so l ight ly in her new environment that she almost floats in the wind; insecure, she is given no firm ground to stand on, and is placed in an extremely volat i le position "wie ein Nest im Wind / auf der aussersten Spitze des Zweigs". There is nothing to anchor her or lend her support, and so she wants to be safely locked into the barn in the evenings. It is interesting to note that she specif ical ly mentions her wish to hear the bolt - the door is thus not merely closed, but audibly locked, thereby preventing entry from outside. However, as an exi le , she does not have this security. Her only support i s , paradoxically, as fragile as her nest in the a i r . When in a review of her f i r s t volume of poems Nur eine Rose als  Stu'tze, Walter Jens wrote that the rose of the t i t l e was her native language, which provided the poet with support during her years of exi le , Hilde Domin agreed with this in terpre ta t ion .^ Since roses and language are rarely combined concepts, Domin's connection of the two renders the rather commonplace image of the rose excit ing. The connotations of a rose are many: beauty, f r a g i l i t y , love, pain, death, violence, among others. Language, especially as perceived by an exi le , may also assume some of the i. 17 above characteristics of the rose - i t i s , at least in the poet's opinion, a thing of beauty; i t is fragi le in the sense that i t is easily mutilated or forgotten, and i t can also be a painful reminder to the exi le . In the paradoxical world of the exile i t is perhaps not suprising that a delicate flower should offer the only support available to her. The f r a g i l i t y of the rose is linked to the f r a g i l i t y of language (and the poet) in exi le . However, since language is the main se l f - ident i f icat ion point of the poet, i t is also her only anchor, and she must try to preserve her language in order to preserve herself. To keep the rose from wilt ing, she must take care of i t by writing to prevent the death of the rose. The rose, Inextricably entwined with the poet, w i l l inevitably die with her; to prevent a premature poetic death, the rose of language must be kept a l ive . One prominent image of the poem is the bird - in many ways the very symbol of the exile - f lying from one place to another through the a i r . Birds commonly occur in images conveying a sense of freedom of action, but in this poem they demonstrate the essential insecurity and sense of not belonging inherent to their "birdness", which in turn is also characteristic of the exi le . The poet clearly does not envy the fate of birds, perhaps because she is forced to share i t . However, she does identify herself with a bird: "ich liege in Vogelfedern". Nevertheless, the fact that she does not want to identify with the bird, although she undoubtedly shares Its characteristics, is made clear when she states that being cradled in her nest in the a i r , or in nothingness, she is not put to sleep as birds are, but on the contrary, becomes dizzy and is unable to 18 f a l l asleep. Again the inabi l i ty to sleep or to rest is linked with the lack of security of "solid ground". In fact, she becomes so dizzy that she actually gropes in the a ir in hope for some support. The image of the acrobat only supports the unsteady and precarious image of the bird and the exi le . Like the bird In Its nest or in the a i r , the acrobat f l ies through the a ir with his trapeze - he is suspended in the void, prey to the wind, just as the nest of the bird, which, instead of being hidden in a more secure place near the trunk of the tree, is precariously perched on the very end of a branch. The poet does not re l i sh this existence; Instead she seeks security by wrapping herself up, encapsuling herself, in a blanket made of the softest wool from "reliable" sheep. She now wants to shed her bird feathers and instead s l ip into the wool of a sheep. Sheep are obviously not suspended in midair at the mercy of the wind the way birds may be, and when they roam, at least they do so on "solid ground". Furthermore, when evening comes they have a safe place to go to; in short, they possess qualities which attract the exi le . An interesting feature of this poem is the implication that freedom is only desirable when connected with security - the sol id earth, doors, buildings and bolts are a l l objects offering some sort of security. In this poem, the exile realizes that unlimited freedom excludes a sense of belonging, and i t is the latter which she seeks. Domin's yearning for a home, presented as something physically so l id , pract ical ly unshakable, and therefore secure, is exemplified in her poem "Bau mir ein Haus": Der Wind kommt. Der Wind, der die Blumen kammt und die Blu'ten zu Schmetterlingen macht, der Tauben steigen la'sst aus altem Papier in den Schluchten Manhattans himmelwa'rts, bis in den zehnten Stock, und die Zugvo'gel an den Turmen der Wolkenkratzer zerschellt . Der Wind kommt, der salzige Wind, der uns u'bers Meer treibt und uns an einen Strand wirft wie Quallen, die wieder hinausgeschwemmt werden. Der Wind kommt. Halte mich fest. * Ach, mein heller Ko'rper aus Sand, nach dem ewigen Bilde geformt, nur aus Sand. Der Wind kommt und nimmt einen Finger mit, das Wasser kommt und macht Ri l l en auf mir. Aber der Wind legt das Herz f re i - den zwitschernden roten Vogel hinter den Rippen -und brennt mir die Herzhaut mit seinem Salpeteratem. Ach, mein Ko'rper aus Sand! Halte mich fest, halte meinen Ko'rper aus Sand. * Lass uns landeinwarts gehn, wo die kleinen Kra'uter die Erde verankern. Ich w i l l einen festen Boden, griin, aus Wurzeln geknotet wie eine Matte. Zersa'ge den Baum, nimm Steine und bau mir ein Haus. Ein kleines Haus nit einer weissen Wand fur die Abendsonne 2 0 und einem Brunnen fur den Mond zum Spiegeln, damit er sich nicht, wie auf dem Meere, ver l ier t • Ein Haus neben einem Apfelbaum oder einem Olbaum, an dem der Wind verbeigeht wie ein Ja'ger, dessen Jagd uns nicht g i l t . ^ Again the exile's situation is vo lat i le , subject to the whims of outside forces rather than to her own w i l l . The other forces, the "hunter", is again, as in "Nur eine Rose als Stu'tze", symbolized by the wind, which forcefully removes the poet from her surroundings and forces her into exi le . In the last section of the poem, the poet expresses her wish for security, for permanence. She wants a stone house built on so l id earth firmly anchored by roots, so that the wind w i l l be unable to disturb i t . She even wants to confine the reflection of the moon in a well, which would provide i t (and her) with a steady point of reference instead of getting lost in the expanse of the ocean. The poem is divided into three distinct sections separated by an asterisk. Each section has a different thrust, but they are nevertheless connected by the central motif of the wind. The f i r s t section is an introduction to the threat of the wind and explains the wind's acts of destruction. The second section is concerned with the fate of the poet, and the third expresses the poet's wish for security. The f i r s t section consists of three stanzas. The f i r s t one is a single l ine with the ominous prophesy "der Wind kommt.", announcing the motif of the poem. The fact that this statement stands by i t s e l f right at 21 the beginning lends i t a compelling quality. After a lengthy pause, the poet continues to explain the threat of the wind's force. The wind turns anything vulnerable to i ts force, including pieces of old paper, into helpless victims. It is a ruthless and indiscriminate hunter which uproots flowers to transform them into helpless butterflies (another bird-type image) and forces birds, innocently travel l ing towards a fixed destination, from their path to smash them against highrise buildings. The most frightening image is that of the birds hurled against the skyscrapers, thereby ending the stanza with an allusion to a cruel and unwilling death. The next stanza repeats the imminent threat of the arr iva l of the wind. This time, the victims are not outsiders, but they are "us". Here, the poet identif ies a community of victims to which she belongs, who are just as powerless as the victims of stanza 1; the poet portrays the "us" as j e l l y f i sh - curious creatures which apparently have no power of their own and are entirely at the mercy of the ocean currents. There is an interesting connection between "zerschellt" and "wlrft" - the j e l ly f i sh are not necessarily broken (as the birds are), but they are nevertheless thrown against something sol id (but may or may not break). The fear induced by the wind is by now unmistakably established. The second last l ine repeats the announcement of the encroaching wind, and the last l ine f ina l ly ends in the plea "halte mich fest". The poet evidently seeks for anchorage and asks for help, apparently forgetting that the flowers also once were anchored by roots, but could not withstand the power of the wind. However, she soon realizes that her body is far from stable - i t is made from sand and is therefore vulnerable to the 22 currents of the wind. It is interesting that despite the evocation of a community the poet does not ask someone to hold onto "us", but onto "me". Whom is she asking? Is she perhaps addressing another member of her community? If this is the case, she must know that her plea cannot be answered. More l ike ly , she is addressing the person of the last section whom she asks to build a house. Thus the f i r s t section ends with the impression that the wind has already caught up with the poet. Because of the long pause between the f i r s t and the second section, the reader is prepared for the change of atmosphere or environment which follows. Now the poem speaks about the effect of the wind's force on the poet's body. However, the impossibility of being held back, or rescued, becomes evident when she speaks of her body as consisting of sand, an unstable substance. The poignancy of this is heightened at the end of the section when she repeats her plea twice "halte mich fest / halte" but then realizes the impossibility of this task and adds, already aware of her untenable lightness: "meinen Ko'rper aus Sand". The f i r s t sentence of this stanza already Indicates that the poet knows of the f u t i l i t y of asking for help: her body is created, l ike everyone else's, in the everlasting image. However, i t is not made of clay, but of sand. This appears to be a b i b l i c a l reference to the creation of man, and i t is significant that the poet perceives her body to be made out of a different material than other people's bodies. Perhaps she believes that she is fated to be an exile , or at least fated to be unable to resist the forces of the wind. In another poem, entitled "Von uns", she writes: "Unser Staub / wird nie mehr Erde",26 again expressing the conviction that she 23 w i l l never again become as sol id as earth and that she w i l l always remain a potential exi le . The l ine "ach, mein Ko'rper aus Sand", with i t s emotional ring of despair, coupled with an expressive exclamation mark, indicates the poet's resentment of her fate, a fate poignantly i l lus trated by the image of the heart as a bird, Domin's predominant symbol of exi le . Domin believes that an exile w i l l never be able to return to his pre-exiled state, simply because he cannot erase the traces of his experience v is ib le either within himself or in the eyes of others. In her poem "Wen es t r l f f t " , which was written while she was s t i l l l iv ing in exile , she describes the cautious reintegration of an exile after he has returned home. This Is a person who was forced into exile and does not dare to feel at home again, in fear that he might again be persecuted. Eventually, the exile gradually starts to feel more and more comfortable: Und ganz unmerklich, v ie l l e icht an einem Feiertag oder an einem Geburtstag, s i t z t er nicht mehr nur auf dem Rande des gebotenen Stuhls, als sei es zur Flucht oder als habe das Mo'bel wurmstichige Beine, sondern er s i tzt mit den Seinen am Tisch und i s t zuhause und beinah sicher^? However, the exile-returned-home is no longer the same person; due to his exile experience his identity has undergone a significant change: "Aber die Substanz / des Ichs / i s t so anders / wie das Metall , das aus dem Holzofen kommt."28 Though the return seems to be accomplished, the exile is s t i l l within him, ready to take f l ight again i f need be: "Doch 24 eine gewisse Leichtigkeit / i s t ihm / wie einem Vogel / geblieben".29 Domin portrays what one might c a l l the "ultimate exile" as a bird without feet, lamenting without ever being heard, and f lying with no hope to rest. This bird is portrayed In her poem "Vogel Klage": Ein Vogel ohne Fiisse i s t die Klage, kein Ast, keine Hand, kein Nest. Ein Vogel der sich wundfliegt im Engen, ein Vogel der sich ver l iert im Weiten, ein Vogel der ertrinkt im Meer. Ein Vogel der ein Vogel i s t , der ein Stein i s t , der schreit . Ein stummer Vogel, den niemand ho'rt.^O The poem begins with a disturbing image of sorrow: a bird without feet, helpless and doomed to f ly forever without an opportunity to rest. This image is reinforced in line 2 where Domin l i s t s the things a bird without feet cannot possess. These are chiefly places for rest (branch, hand, nest) and are images of home and security. The f i r s t stanza introduces this painful image in one sentence. In i t , the bird is the sorrow (or lament), implying something which speaks ("klagen" indicates an audible lamentation). But the last stanza of the poem reveals that the bird is mute - the bird is presented as a lament nobody hears. These two opposite definitions of the bird (a lament and muteness), are posited within two similarly structured stanzas consisting of two lines each. However, the last stanza is s ignif icantly shorter. This reinforces the dumbness of the bird, since a long silence is fe l t by the empty spaces 25 following each l ine . The second stanza is the longest one. It consists of two f u l l sentences, each longer than the sentences of the framing stanzas, and serves to explain the transformation of a lamenting bird into a dumb b ird . The bird is unable to do anything without causing harm to himself: he does not simply f ly because he wishes to, but does so, because he has no option, and is therefore bound to eventually f ly himself "wund" (freedom is here, s imilarly as in "Nur eine Rose als Stu'tze", turned Into pain). Wherever the bird f l i e s , he runs into d i f f i c u l t i e s . He hurts himself in confined spaces, resembling a captive bird in a cage f lying against the bars. An enclosed space Is evidently disastrous for the bird of this poem; he cannot even rest in i t , but is forced to f ly even i f this means destroying himself. Open spaces are not much better - the bird merely gets lost in them. In the end the bird inevitably encounters the sea, the most fatal of the spaces. The bird drowns in the sea, probably because he is unable to rest and too exhausted to continue f ly ing . Lines 3 to 8 have a paral le l structure. There are always two lines between the commas of which the f i r s t l ine is the longer one and describes what happens to the b ird . A l l of the longer lines are repetitive: they start with "ein Vogel der" and then give three different fates which befal l the b ird , f ina l ly ending in the bird's death. The verbs are a l l at the end of the l ine , which compels the reader to remember them as he moves on to the next l ine . Each verb Is followed by a description of increasingly harmful places. This regular, paral le l structure makes the reader aware of the connections of meaning between the l ines . There are 26 also many pauses in this segment of the poem, owing to the empty spaces after l ines 4, 6, and 8, which end either in a comma or a f u l l stop, thereby increasing the pause and lending an a ir of disconsolation to the passage. The f i r s t sentence of stanza 2 (lines 3-8) is an extension of the image of the f i r s t stanza and explains the inevitable predicaments of a bird without feet. The second half of this stanza (lines 9-12) also consists of a single, this time shorter, sentence broken up by commas. Here, the poem stabil izes more, and there is not such a drastic change in l ine lengths. This part in turn anticipates the last stanza. The phrase "ein Vogel / der ein Vogel i s t / der ein Stein ist" unites the stone and the bird and fuses these two opposite things (the bird: l ight and free; the stone: heavy and sedentary) Into one paradoxical creature. The repetition of defining the bird as a bird reaffirms that the bird real ly i s a bird and does not merely change into the stone. The bird is truly both a bird and a stone. This is an unusual concept, since birds and stones are not generally associated with one another; here they are not merely associated with one another, but actually fuse into one another. The bird is a bird because i t f l i es and screams, but It is also a stone because i t drowns and is inaudible. The b ird , exhausted by endless f ly ing , drops l ike a stone into the sea - since i t has no feet, i t loses part of i t s birdness and turns into a stone that screams. Thus the second stanza impressively ends in a scream. The reader is told only in the last stanza that the scream is inaudible: the bird-stone which screams Is inaudible because i t is mute. 27 Nobody hears the scream. This again is rather ambiguous: is the bird real ly mute, or is he simply so because nobody hears him? The last l ine of the poem "den niemand ho"rt" comes across as an accusation, aimed, however, at no one in particular for not hearing the b ird . The b ird , as a representative of the exiled person, is ultimately presented as a victim. The poem has the structure of an inverse triangle: the lines and sentences become shorter as the poem progresses. The last stanza is also the shortest sentence; this again emphasizes the aspect of dumbness or inaudibi l i ty gradually increasing within the poem. Thus the poem i t s e l f turns into a lament, a bird without feet. The essential insecurity of the exile i n s t i l l s in him mistrust of anything which appears to soothe him. In a poem entitled "Warnung", Domin advises constant caution and guard against false security. Though the world may be "frisch geha'utet"-^ and ready to welcome back the exile , implying that the forces which have compelled him into exile have at least on the surface been eliminated, she gives a rather discouraging warning: "Wenn alles dich einla'dt, / das i s t die Stunde / wo dich alles verlasst.""^ This theme of mistrust along with the unfulf i l led yearning for security, which appears to be Domin's almost obsessive preoccupation, is expressed in other poems as well, particularly intensely in "Mit leichtem Gepa'ck": Gewo'hn dich nicht. Du darfst dich nicht gewb'hnen. Eine Rose ist eine Rose. Aber ein Helm i s t kein Heim.^3 The loss of identity, or rather the forced imposition of a new 28 identity , prevents her from forgetting her exile experience. The new identity was imposed on her because she was forced to leave her old one behind, as she writes In the f i r s t stanza of her poem "Angsttraum": Ich muss mich von mir trennen. Ich werde weggefuhrt von mir. Ich strecke die Ha'nde aus nach mir. aber ich biege um eine Ecke und verlasse mich, die ich wegg€fiihrt werde in einem Stra'flingskleid. 34 The sence of urgency in this stanza Is established in the f i r s t l ine: "ich muss mich von mir trennen". Like the prisoner she reveals herself to be, the persona of the poem has no free w i l l . She must leave herself behind. The urgency of this comes even more to the foreground when one considers the essential absurdity of the phrase - a person cannot normally depart from himself, but here he must. In her situation, the poet is obliged to do what is otherwise impossible, and apparently succeeds: in l ine 7 she is in the process of departing from herself. However, she is now dressed in a "Stra'f l ingskleid", which stigmatizes her, and also insinuates that she would not depart from herself i f she were not forced to, since no one puts on a prisoner's uniform voluntari ly . The forced removal from herself is depicted in the passive form of the phrase "Ich werde weggefu'hrt", although she does not specify who leads her away. The f i r s t sentence of the poem gives no indication of an outside force; she simply states what she has to do. However, the fact that the action of departing from oneself is in real i ty impossible, immediately renders this sentence suspicious. The second sentence (lines 2,3) confirms this suspicion and explains that she is being taken away by 29 something or someone. The sense of unwillingness is enhanced in line 4, where she stretches out her hands in a chi ldl ike gesture, as i f she thought she could reverse her fate by summoning for help (a similar image is used in "Nur eine Rose als Stiitze" where she reaches out for help, but does actually find some). "Ich strecke die Hande aus" is an ambiguous gesture; i t can be used to signify welcome as well as farewell (as from a train window, for instance). However, the short line "nach mir" makes i t clear that here the stretched-out hands signify reluctance and pleading for something which has been taken away and cannot be recovered: herself. Here again, Domin uses the essential impossibility and absurdity of such an action to emphasize her point. The most striking words of the f i r s t part of the stanza are those referring to the poet herself and they appropriately occupy an entire l ine each (lines 3 and 5), thereby emphasizing the significance of these words. These lines are the shortest ones of the stanza and consequently leave a long space behind them, which, following the pattern of the other l ines , are perceived to possess unspoken meaning. The space represents a silence which ought not to be there, and therefore indicates that there is a conf l ic t . Howevermuch she stretches out her hands, the poet cannot catch hold of herself, because she is led around the corner and loses sight of herself. She has now unmistakably departed from herself. Line 7 i s the only place where, the active voice (describing her actions as i f she were performing them from her own wi l l ) is combined with the passive voice (indicating the invis ible force which forces her into action), and i t is also the only place where two parts of a sentence, separated by a comma, occupy the same line and are thus interconnected. The involuntary aspect 30 i s again underlined in the last l ine of the poem, especially In the last word "Stra*f l ingskleid". The entire poem appears unreal because i t s matter-of-fact descriptions are clearly at odds with the meaning - the poet describes an essentially psychological process in a tangible way. The unreality of the poem is further reflected (and indeed posited) in i ts t i t l e "Angsttraum", i t Is in fact only a dream, and, since anything may happen In a dream, i ts absurdity or unreality becomes essentially real in the context of the dream. For Domin, the exile experience turns into an interminable feature of l i f e - you cannot return home and simply shake the dust of the exile's wanderings off your feet; on the contrary, exile always follows you, i t is the "Wu'ste einsteckbar" of her poem "Silence and exile": Unverlierbares E x i l du tra'gst es bei d ir du schlupfst hinein gefaltetes Labyrinth Wtfste einsteckbar.35 The problem of the rootlessness of the exile , his inabi l i ty to become "heimisch", that i s , to feel as i f he were at home, occupies a large part of Domin's poetry. The experience of exile , with a l l i t s inherent dangers, fears and uncertainty, has taught her that everything may be lost , everything, that i s , except language, which is "das Unverlierbare, nachdem alles andere sich als verlierbar erwlesen hatte. Das letzte, unabnehmbare Zuhause".36 This ultimate home is her language, as she sums up in her own words: "Hand in Hand mit der Sprache / bis z u l e t z t . " 3 7 . 31 CHAPTER II WACLAW IWANIUK Waclaw Iwaniuk is a Polish exile poet currently l iv ing In Toronto. Iwaniuk's poems frequently reflect the theme of the exi le , but with less direct reference than is found in Hilde Domin's poetry. On the whole, his poetry is rather sombre; there is l i t t l e of Domin's essential affirmation of l i f e found in his works. He may well be considered a poet of the "Dark Times", as one of his volumes is appropriately named, a poet decrying the fate of the exile as a result of our dark, savage times where "History has crossed i t s Styx. Stopped in a blind a l ley". ! His pessimism may well be a reflection of his situation, in which, both as an exile and poet, he differs s ignif icantly from Domin in that he cannot return to his country. He knows that now, in exile , he has more poetic freedom to say whatever he wants. "Nareszcie moge. powiedziec' wszystko od A do Z"2 ("Now I can say everything from A to Z"), he says in his poem "Nie plamiac sie brudnym slowem". However, he soon finds out that speaking in a strange place is not as easy as i t sounds. Eventually, Iwaniuk becomes frustrated as a poet. In his cycle of poems "From my Canadian Diary" (written in English), he traces his emigration to Canada and writes about his feelings towards his new country. Overall , he is not impressed by the c i t i e s , least of a l l by Toronto, which he cal ls "my many graveyards / and my painful redemption";^ Toronto Is the ultimate place of exile: 32 In the midst of my lost years I took the wrong turn; Toronto With i ts many crossroads, became my no-man's land.^ A major theme running through Iwaniuk's poetry is the concept of silence along with i t s connotations of inhumanity, barrenness, i so lat ion, l i felessness. For Iwaniuk, silence is dangerous, even criminal: "Teraz dopiero wiem - milczenie jest przestepstwem"^ ("Only now I know -silence Is a crime"). The opposite of silence is speech, and by inference l i f e , since a poet's object is to produce speech (and l i f e ) , which in turn enables him to l ive as a poet. This may explain Iwaniuk's preoccupation with these concepts. Speech, or "slowo" ("the word") as he simply cal ls i t , is l i f e and creat ivi ty , the opposite of silence, with which he, through his situation as an exiled poet, is forced to associate himself. He feels insecure in a world f i l l e d with silence, but he finds a certain amount of solace in the word: "Miejsce nie jest ostoja, ostoja jest slowo; / wierne, z ktorym jak sie^  m6wilo u nas / mozna isc na Saksy albo krasc konie,"^ (the place is not a refuge, the word is a refuge; / fa i th fu l , with which as they used to say at home / you could go moonlighting or steal horses) 7 as he says in his poem "Czy mam sie cieszyc ze swiat dla mnie zmalal". However comforting or secure this may sound, Iwaniuk's relationship with language is nevertheless ambiguous; he does not take i t for granted and he is never sure i f a word w i l l come to his aid whenever he needs i t . Iwaniuk takes words very seriously, and so he is unable to use them with f a c i l i t y . He is acutely aware of the effect even a single word can have: "Siowo raz powiedziane pozostanie / i bedzie Iwiecic lub kopcic / uzdrawiac lub czadzic cate pokolenia."^ ("The word 33 once spoken remains / and w i l l shine or smoke / heal or poison a whole generation"). Considering how much magnitude Iwaniuk ascribes to each word, i t Is perhaps not surprising that he comes to consider words autonomous and is in awe of them. A poet is normally considered a creator or at least a producer of words. Iwaniuk, however, discovers that i t Is not he who controls words, but It is the words themselves, which exercise control: "Mysl przywoluje slowo, slowo sie_ wzbrania"^ ("The thought cal ls up a word, the word refuses"). The poet is constantly struggling for words, which remain s i lent , refusing to be released, refusing to cooperate: Siedze^ w milczeniu nad zamkni^tym slowem. Za oknem plowleje czas, przyroda przezielenia -Zmieniaja horizonty. Mam szeroko otwarte oczy, patrze w glab -I czekam.10 (I s i t in silence over a locked word. Behind the window time fades, nature fades -Horizons change. I have wide open eyes, I look Inside -And wait.) As a result , the word does not come easy to him, as he writes in Na Antypodach: "Ale do tego potrzebne jest slowo / Nad ktoVym siedze w milczeniu i czekam / W suchym jak ziarno krajobrazie''^ ("But for this the word is necessary / over which I s i t in silence and wait / in a landscape dry as grain of sand"). A similar sentiment is expressed in his poem "21" of "From my Canadian Diary": In a l l my wishes I pray for words. Here in this sober, dreamless city perched on a vast Lake, beneath the Northern Lights, 34 r ich and f la t , prominent and butchered, I pray for words. Loud waves, bare and lovely, move to the shore to meet their lovers, interrupted by noisy seagulls claiming in loud voices the ownership of the Lake. Yet my wish goes by unnoticed. For years I have been waiting here, facing the Lake and facing myself, with my past as dead as the Dead Sea and my future new. Nothing to fear now. Nothing to regret. This Lake lives for me. Tied to the earth since the Ice Age, i t does not rush around. The fat sun moves over the lazy waves hiding Its helpful hands. Sometimes the Lake may trespass i ts border and flood the shore, destroying roads and the basements of summer cottages. Perhaps i t satisf ies Nature, but most of the time i t is f u l l of unconventional majesty. It looks l ike a human being who has suddenly awakened. Then i t is rea l . It is a Lake f u l l of sunlight resting near Toronto. It is also one inside me, which is always dark.^2 Language is not an integral (or inseparable) part of the poet, ready at his command. On the contrary, the poet must request i t , without knowing whether his wish w i l l be granted. The poet is not secure with his words, words are as elusive as wishes. The fact that he prays for them indicates his realization that he might be refused. This indicates the poet's recognition that he has no authority over the word he uses. 35 The f i r s t stanza conveys an impression of silence. No one speaks. The f i r s t l ine contains two words which belong to the realm of yearning, or a type of psychological, not factual, rea l i ty: "wishes" and "pray"; in the second l ine these words are contrasted by two factual words: "sober" and "dreamless". Thus, the two worlds inhabited by the poet are introduced to the reader within the f i r s t two l ines . The poet's situation is made clear: he is in an environment which is deaf to his wishes, and by the time he repeats the phrase "I pray for words" in the last l ine of this stanza, the probable denial of this wish becomes evident, and thus, in the l ight of refusal, his prayer becomes more intense. The next stanza focuses on the Lake. Whereas the f i r s t stanza was pervaded by silence, the second stanza presents a scene of noise: there are "loud waves", "noisy seagulls" and "loud voices". As an animated scene of action, i t contrasts strongly with the static immobility of the f i r s t stanza. It is significant that neither the poet nor the city are mentioned in this stanza, which underlines the essential separation and incompatibility of stanza 1 and 2. Noise, an indication of l i f e , belongs solely to the realm of the Lake. Stanza 3 returns to silence. Given the noise associated with the Lake, i t is perhaps not surprising that now the poet complains that "my wish goes by unnoticed", perhaps because i t s medium is silence, not noise. The second l ine of this stanza discloses that the poet has been waiting for many years "facing the Lake and facing myself"; once again the opposition between him and the Lake is expressed. However, now the poet t e l l s us that his past is dead, suggesting that his silence and 36 lifelessness are a reflection of his dead past. Perhaps i t is for this reason that he cannot find words which had been acquired in the past and is left speechless, though also endowed with immunity: with "nothing to fear" and "nothing to regret". The poet thus appears to be in a hopeless situation, since, paradoxically, his past is dead precisely for the reason that he cannot find words for i t . In stanza 4 the poet claims that the Lake lives for him (or rather, instead of him); the sun is aligned with the lake, giving the lake sunlight and l i f e . The sun combined with the lake presents a symbol of l ight and l i f e , which is the exact opposite of the poet's interior landscape. The sun's helpful hands are hidden - perhaps because the poet does not see them - or perhaps because he does not want to accept the sun's help, knowing that any l ight of the sun would be engulfed by the darkness within him. Here, the poet appears to have given up hope for himself, and merely transfers his l i f e to the lake outside of him. This then turns the poet into an exile from light and l i f e . Thus the poem presents a struggle between darkness and l ight , between l i f e and death within the poet, in which darkness and death win. As an exile , the poet needs help and support from outside, which, in this poem, the sun might be able to give; however, he rejects this help. The last stanza reveals the presence of a second lake, this time a lake the poet carries within him, a fact already hinted at in l ine 16 when he compares his past to the Dead Sea. This inner lake i s , predictably, the opposite of the noisy, l ive ly Lake: whereas the real Lake is f i l l e d with sunlight and l i f e , his inner one is ominously dark and dead. 37 Darkness is not only the opposite of l ight , but i t also absorbs l ight; i t is therefore a strong force within the poet presenting a frightening image: any l ight entering the poet is immediately absorbed, and never reflected. The poet's inner lake is not a giver or even a receptacle of l ight , but an impenetrable sea of darkness and of silence, separated from the l i f e of the outside world represented by the sunlit lake. Iwaniuk's constant fear is his loss of words - without words, a poet does not exist as a poet. It is not surprising that Iwaniuk's motto introducing his volume Ciemny Czas is as follows: Zadne gruzy nie sa tak wstrza^sa ja^ ce Jak martwy wiersz. Poeta odgrodzony od slowa pozostawi po soble tylko krzyk papieru.^ 3 (No ruins are as shattering As a dead poem. The poet separated from the word leaves behind him only a scream of paper.) A silent poet, of course, is not a poet, and a poet who produces no words is barren; this is how Iwaniuk describes himself In his poem "Planeta": Nauczylem s i f mowic' szeptem Gdziekolwiek wkraczam budze^  poptoch Napelniony po brzegl ciemnos'cia Zeruje na waszych snach. Jestem jak suche drzewo Jestem nagi Zdj^to ze mnie klejnot z ie leni Bez kwiatu Bez owocu Jestem jak paralityk elektrycznie zwawy Z giowa pochylona nad wlasna. ruina. Gdybym byt planeta, mialbym wlasny ruch I wlasna s i l q do dz'wlgania innych.-*-^ 38 (I have learned to speak in whispers Wherever I appear I cause panic F i l l e d to the brim with darkness I prey on your dreams. I am l ike a dry tree I am naked Taken from me the jewel of greenery Without flower Without fru i t I am l ike a paralytic e lec tr ica l ly l i ve ly With my head stooping over my own ruin. If I were a planet, I would have my own motion And my strength to carry others.) However dark his past may be, Iwaniuk is haunted by i t to such an extent that he appears to be unwilling to l ive in the present. His poem "Don't Touch Me, I'm F u l l of Snakes" i l lustrates to what degree his past and his memories have a hold over him: pon *t'touch me; I 'm'ful l 'of ~snakes! Jestem jak martwa gleba bez kropl i powietrza Jak zestrzelony wiatrem oblok Jak rzeka ktora byla i kttfrej juz nie ma 0 skamienialych brzegach. Jak bezsilne siowo. Don*t~touch'mei Wole, nosic' w sobie To, co wypelnia moje sny po brzegi Lata ktdrych zadne siowa nie odmodla,. Chowam w sobie truja^ce wspomienia Zmije piomieni i jad gazu -Zyje, jak lustro, z twarza, ku przeszlosci . (Don't touch'me; I'm"full"of"snakes! 1 am l ike dead s o i l without a drop of a ir Like a cloud shot down by the wind Like a river which was but is no more With rocky (or: petrif ied) banks. Like a powerless word. [t/o] Don't' touch me! I prefer to carry within me That which f i l l s my dreams to the brim Years which no words w i l l pray back. I hide poisoned reminiscences within myself Snakes of flame and venom of gas -I l ive l ike a mirror, with my face to the past.) 39 In this poem Iwaniuk portrays his present situation, lamenting that he once was "a river which was but is no more". He has not enough energy to f e r t i l i z e his so i l with the a ir i t needs. This poem not only describes his situation as an exi le , thrown into a strange and for him in fer t i l e environment, but also depicts his concern as a poet who cannot write, whose fountain of words has dried up. A highly unusual image is that of the snakes - Iwaniuk says he is f u l l of them, f u l l of poisonous reminiscences, which occupy his dreams and seem determined to discourage him from considering anything else but his past. He suggests that i t is perhaps these snakes within him, even more than his actual s ituation, which prevent him from writing. Curiously, however, in l ine 6 he admits that he actually l ikes to be f i l l e d with snakes. So, whereas the f i r s t part of the poem announces the curse and threat of the snakes, in the second part their existence is asserted. The f i r s t sentence of the poem immediately commands attention because not only i t is typographically highlighted, but, in addition, i t is written in English, whereas the bulk of the poem is in Pol ish. Using two languages at once, the poet's native language and his adopted one, is a highly unusual phenomenon in an exiled poet. It may underline the extraordinary pressure the new environment exerts on the exiled poet - now in a Canadian environment, Iwaniuk has to struggle to keep his identity as a Polish poet. This two-language technique immediately suggests an air of foreignness, and indicates a possible estrangement of the poet from himself. The implication of this f i r s t l ine supports this impression of alienation: he forbids anyone to touch him because he is f u l l of snakes; he thus makes himself "untouchable", which suggests the high degree of 40 alienation the poet feels (perhaps this claim is his method of repulsing compassion for his s ituation). However, the statement also carries a veiled warning: whoever touches him might get "bitten" and injected with poison. It is a firm admonition as well as a s tart l ing revelation of the poet's situation. The fact that the two phrases in l ine 1 and l ine 6 are in English, as well as in cursory type leaves the impression that only they are meant to be heard, whereas the rest, written in Polish and not highlighted in any way, are spoken to himself, not understood by anyone. In l ine 2 the poet says he is l ike dead s o i l . This appears to contradict his assertion of the f i r s t l ine , in which he mentions l iv ing snakes. However, i f one looks for logical reasoning behind the images, one might argue that snakes often l ive on barren land. One might even continue that the snakes chose to l ive In him, precisely because he Is dead s o i l . Thus, the seeming paradox of images in the poem turn out to have their own inner logic . Lines 2 to 5 are a rec i ta l of some rather melancholy self-definitions of the poet. The poet believes that he has lost a l l his powers, and now is merely a "powerless word". The poet strongly identif ies with the word, but since he believes that he can only produce meaningless words, he also becomes the type of word he produces. Thus he not only loses the powerful word, but also the part of his identity associated with powerful words. The poet thus becomes as powerless as the words he produces. Previously he was a r iver , a cloud, f er t i l e s o i l - a l l of which, incidentally, are connected with l i fe -g iv ing water. He enumerates a l l these things without pause unt i l the f u l l stop in the middle of l ine 5. The sudden stop 41 catches the reader's attention and prepares him for the impact of the statement "jak bezsilne s£owo" ("like a powerless word"), a negative summation of what he was trying to convey in the previous l ines . The position of this statement is indicative of i ts meaning: i t is placed as an afterthought, as i f the poet had just realized that his enumeration is weak and senseless, in other words, that It hardly matters what he said. A word without power is a symbol of silence, and also of non-existence. If a word has no power, i t might as well be left unsaid, which means that Iwaniuk denies the meaning or value of the poem. It is surely no coincidence that this sentence, written in Polish, stands in a relat ively unremarkable place in the poem, since, on the whole, the only lines that immediately stand out are the English ones. Another point of interest is that the English lines describe what is alive (snakes), whereas the Polish lines talk about what is dead (the poet himself). The repetition of the request "don't touch me" In l ine 6 marks the second part of the poem. However, here the poet provides no further explanation, which signifies an increasing withdrawal into himself. The poet now discloses that he prefers to be in contact with his past, something which no longer exists and which "no word w i l l pray back" (another echo of the powerless word). To make i t exist he has to reca l l i t in his dreams. Up to this point, the poem reads l ike a melancholy reminiscence about happy times irretrievably lost , and i t is therefore rather astonishing to discover in the next l ine that "I hide in myself poisoned reminiscences". The past, un t i l now described in i d y l l i c images of a cloud and a r iver , now turns into something distasteful: the 42 reminiscences poison the poet from within. Here, the image of the snakes appears again; the reader is now certain that the snakes are poisonous, and his conclusion is confirmed in line 10 - the snakes are flames with venom of gas. It is therefore impossible for the poet to be in contact with the outside world. The poet cannot l ive with both at the same time, but for a reason known only to himself, he prefers to l ive with his snakes, his poisonous and perhaps even deadly reminiscences. The end of l ine 10 is marked by a dash, which, besides indicating a break, also sets apart the following l ine . In the last l ine , the poet abandons the violent images prominent in lines 6 and 10, and, in a haunting, but peaceful image compares himself to a mirror reflecting the past. It is noteworthy that he repeats the word "jak" ("like"), prominent in the f i r s t part, only in this last l ine . The f i r s t "jak" of part one Is preceded by the verb "jestem" ("I am"). The repetitions of "jak" throughout the f i r s t part are assumed to have the same verb preceding them, thereby giving a series of the poet's se l f -def ini t ion. The only occurrence of "jak" in part two is also preceded by a verb, but this time by "zyj^" ("I l ive") . No other comparisons follow in part two, which mainly defines the poet's circumstances. His circumstances are apparently created by his se l f -def init ion: he lives l ike a mirror because he is dead s o i l . Since the l i s t of the poet's self-definitions precedes the only indication of his circumstances, the importance of the latter is emphasized. The last l ine of the poem, which is the summation of his s ituation, induces a definite and irrevocable sense of resignation. He closes his l i s t of images by ultimately likening himself to a mirror. 43 Besides being the most truthful reflector of the past, i t is also an image of f ina l i t y : a mirror can never hope to overcome i ts mirrorness and is doomed to forever face the past. Thus by defining himself as a mirror, the poet accepts the inev i tabi l i ty of his position. Iwaniuk's memories of the past are presented in contradictory terms; once they are poisonous snakes, another time they are almost l ike a part of paradise. His poem "Lisc" conveys a sort of "fa l l from paradise" in which he contrasts his thriving l i f e in the past with his essential "non-life" in the present: Koniec sezonu: upadlem na ziemie juz mnie nie ucaJuje promiefi juz s i^ nie pozbieram ptak mnie podepcze rosa oczy wyje wiatry ze mna, przestana^ sie^  swarzyc' -tyle dlugich dni wrastaiem - czerpi^c -w mi^kkosci tlenu w gory powietrza, w upal tyle dni chlonalem strom^ nawai^ promieni -plaskie moje ciaio wieszone za szyje spiewaio hymny -tyle nocy przeszeptanych ze swierszczem przegadanych z rosa, ^ na s l i sk ich wywoskowanych zielonych posadzkach -a teraz tylko ludzki dla mnie los lez^ i cierpie pamie,cia, nie c i a £ e m . l 6 (The end of the season: I f e l l to earth the (sun) ray no longer kisses me 44 I w i l l no longer pick myself up a bird steps on me the dew eats up my eyes the winds stop to squabble with me -so many long days I grew - drawing [as in : drawing water] -In the softness of oxygen in the mountains of a i r , In the scorching heat so many days I absorbed steep profusions of rays -my f lat body hanging by the neck sang hymns -so many nights whispering along with crickets conversing with dew on the slippery wax green floors -and now my fate is only human I l i e and suffer with memory not with my body.) Here, Iwaniuk describes himself as a leaf which has fal len to the ground at the end of i t s l i f e and is now suffering a completely different fate; i t has undergone a transformation from being "leafy" to being human. As an inevitable part of the natural process the leaf must f a l l to earth when i t s season has passed. Considered in this l ight , Iwaniuk insinuates that his f a l l , too, was inevitable, and that i t merely followed the natural course of things. His f a l l , however, reduces him to the unenviable state of being "only" human. The word "tylko" reduces humanity, which normally sees i t s e l f as dominating nature, to a level below nature. Thus, one single word of the poem reverses the "normal" hierarchy and implies that the fate of the leaf was preferable to that of a human. 45 The introductory phrase of the poem, "Koniec sezonu: upadlem na ziemie/' ("The end of the season: I f e l l to earth"), indicates a rude awakening after a pleasant season. Happiness and thriving comes to an abrupt end when the poet fa l l s to earth. By being pushed off the tree he is rendered in effect an exi le . He s t i l l exists, though no longer as a nurtured leaf, but as a decaying leaf which has gained a new dimension of suffering - i t s main tormentors are no longer the natural elements (the scorching sun, for instance), but memories. Another interesting feature is that dew, formerly a natural source of l i f e , is now antagonistic and even destructive: i t eats up the leaf's eyes, and i t is evident that the relations of things to the leaf have changed. Severed from i ts native tree, the leaf knows of human suffering. The f ina l i ty of this pronouncement is furthered by the prefix "u" in "upadlem", indicating a definite, even irrevocable, action. It is as i f the poet had fal len with a thud. The rest of the stanza furnishes the reader with a description of the poet's state after his "fa l l" . Again (as in "Don't Touch Me, I'm F u l l of Snakes") he describes his state in terms of what i t once was and what i t is no longer - he is no longer gently kissed by sunrays but instead has to endure being stepped on by birds. The beings and elements of the air (sunrays, birds, wind) are no longer favourably connected with him and either ignore or damage him. The leaf, or the poet, is now confronted with the harsh real i ty of the earth. The dash after l ine 6 indicates a longer pause than is usual between two stanzas. The next stanza introduces a change of atmosphere as the poet talks about his past happiness. The many dashes in this stanza 46 endow It with a dream-like quality - reinforcing the fact that his happiness has passed and that now he can only reminisce or dream about i t . During his l i f e as a flourishing leaf, the poet is attached to the tree, his giver and sustainer of l i f e . The third stanza (the shortest of the poem) summarizes his past with a curious image: though his f lat body is hung by the neck (a gruesome image of the gallows), i t nevertheless sings hymns. This is an unusual and grotesque image. It seems unlikely that a person facing a cruel fate would sing hymns. This might, however, be an indication that he is not conscious of the absurdity of his s ituation; i t is simply a part of his native environment. There is a sense of dispassionate observation in this stanza induced by the absence of the f i r s t person singular. Perhaps only now, severed from his native tree, the poet notices the absurdity of this scene and describes i t as i f i t almost did not concern him. However, the positive image of the past is restored at the end of the poem, when he reveals that now he undergoes much greater suffering than bodily harm. Attached to the tree, he is provided with a l l the necessities for l i f e (sunrays, a i r , wind, water, communication), and, although he may suffer bodily injury from time to time, he is not yet aff l icted with "human" sufferings. Stanza 4 ends in a dash, marking the end of the reminiscences and a return to the poet's present circumstances. The last stanza thus returns to the theme of the f i r s t one (indeed, l ine 20 could equally well follow l ine 1). The two outer stanzas form a framework for the middle part of the poem and thus assure that real i ty has the last word, and that dreams are only temporary. The poet is caught in a downhill current; he is removed, l ike the 47 leaf, from his native surroundings and finds himself, now dried up and half destroyed, in a foreign place with an uncertain future and with no points of reference other than his memories. However, in order to survive as a poet, he must s t i l l endeavour to write, to be f er t i l e as a poet; but in the face of his present situation, he believes that his efforts f a i l . In his poem "To wszystko" Iwaniuk elaborates on the theme of barrenness resulting from the loss of familiar and cherished objects, including one's country. In this case, everything he cherished has been taken away, leaving only ashes: To wszystko co jest moje ziemia zabrala -iodzie punickie, piasek wi^lany most rozpie,ty goiebiem biaiym -to wszystko co jest moje popalono poiamano zamkni^to im usta -Krolestwo dymu popidi wislany piasek wi£ lany -goteblom skrzydla poiamano mostom zebra ludzlom oczy. Tylko woda jest gle^bsza od zycia zbiera niesie za horizonty skrzydla zebra klosy zrenic wislane sprzety -zbiera i niesie za horizonty. To wszystko co jest moje -skrzydla zebra i sprzety zrenic czekaja, w porcie moim na przebudzenie. 48 (Al l that is mine the earth took away -the Punic boats, the Vistula sand the bridge spread across l ike a white dove -a l l that was mine was burned was broken was silenced. ( l i t e r a l l y : had i ts mouth shut) The Kindgom of smoke Vistula ashes Vistula sand -The doves had their wings broken bridges their ribs people their eyes. Only water is deeper than l i f e i t collects carries beyond the horizons wings ribs sheaves of pupils. Vistula harvest -It collects and carries beyond the horizons. A l l that is mine -wings ribs the harvest of pupils wait in my harbour for the awakening.-) The f i r s t two lines of the poem express the bitterness of the exile who had everything taken away from him by an outside force. Although this poem is permeated by a sense of loss, i t nevertheless contains a glimmer of hope (which rarely occurs in Iwaniuk's poetry) of recovering what the poet once possessed. The central motif is the Vistula River, tradit ional ly considered the artery of Polish identity. Here, the poet takes something universal and changes i t into a purely personal experience. Everything the poet has lost is depicted in relation to the Vistula , which suggests that the poet strongly identifies himself with 49 this river and with what the river represents. When this identity is damaged and taken away, a l l that remains is desolation and silence. However, nothing is lost forever, everything is collected by the water (which i s , l ike time, "deeper than l i f e") , later to be deposited in the poet's harbour to await the "awakening". In the f i r s t stanza the poet describes what has been taken away: boats, sand, bridges. If one combines these elements, a secure, harbour-l ike atmosphere emerges, an image of peace symbolized by the bridge's likeness to a white dove. In the l ight of this serenity, the horror of the consequent destruction is intensif ied. Suddenly, in the next stanza everything is enveloped by the "kingdom of smoke", and a l l that remains are the Vistula ashes and the Vistula sand (unchanged in i ts timeless qual i ty) . This is followed by another, perhaps even more violent scene of destruction: the foundations of things are broken (a bridge cannot stand without r ibs , doves cannot f ly without wings, people cannot see without eyes). A l l this collected wreckage - in a fleeting shadow of irony - is later referred to as the "wis'lane sprzety" ("Vistula harvest"), swept into the poet's harbour to wait for the awakening. The only kind of awakening imaginable is through the poet's words with which he may rebuild what has been destroyed. The sense of destruction in this f i r s t stanza is relieved in the last stanza, which, although beginning with the same words, presents a shadow of hope in that i t ends on a note of awakening. The poet, now in exile , has been silenced ever since "to wszystko co jest moje" ("all that was mine") was destroyed. The destruction of the poet's home mirrors the poet's fate as an exile as well . Like the 50 "Vistula harvest", the poet, too, has been carried "beyond the horizons". Physical things, as well as those things of psychological importance which have contributed to his identity, such as the cultural identif icat ion associated with the Vistula r iver , have been destroyed, leaving him with nothing but the hope of recovering what once was h is . His poem "Out of My Dream" (written in English) expresses a s imilarly desolate picture of l ifelessness: No trees no rivers only sand disturbed by a cactus plant the demon of the desert beyond i t there is red unfortunate colour of death. In the dimmed sky the comely stars 1 Q escape my memory. i 0 In this poem Iwaniuk presents a rather desolate picture of a landscape in his dream (a dreamscape). It is an empty one, and he appropriately begins by enumerating what is not there. There are no trees or rivers - signs of l i f e , growth and cheerfulness - which immediately provides an indication of the lifelessness and barrenness of his dreams. The f i r s t impression of barren dryness is confirmed in the third line in which the poet reveals what his dreamscape does contain: "only sand". The landscape out of his dream reveals i t s e l f as a desert. The f i r s t three lines consist of two words each, expressing what does and what does not exist. The fourth l ine departs from this pattern; i t disturbs i t , just as the cactus plant disturbs the monotony of the sand. The two lines dealing with the cactus are the longest ones of the poem, 51 creating a disturbing and disquieting picture. The cactus is described as the "demon of the desert" announcing the presence of death and e v i l . The cactus is also a reminder of the desert's rea l i ty , leaving no place for i l lus ions or hallucinations. These can occur only when there is nothing to obstruct one's sight or to provide a focal point for one's attention. Thus, as the only dist inctive object in the desert, the cactus renders hallucinations impossible. The cactus, a reminder of the desert's presence, is also a reminder of the situation of the poet in exi le; a situation which in Iwaniuk's case is perceived as barren and l i fe less as a desert. The cactus ensures that the poet cannot ignore the "desert", that i s , the desolate nature of his situation in exi le . Although a plant, the cactus is almost l ike an inanimate object, since i t is associated with dryness and pain and lacks a l l the aspects of luscious vegetation generally associated with trees and plants. The cactus, in fact, contains a paradox by being simultaneously dead and a l ive , and may well be considered a "demon", an e v i l s p i r i t , of the unbroken and thus harmonious monotony of the desert. Line 6 reverts to the original two words per l ine structure, only to be brief ly interrupted in the next l ine by the three words announcing the colour of death: "there is red". Here, again, the harmony of the desert i s interrupted by a reference to an unpleasant rea l i ty . For the exiled poet, an uninterrupted desert may provide him with an avenue of escape, albeit an i l lusory one; however, he is constantly confronted with the rea l i t ies and d i f f i cu l t i e s of his situation. The f ina l two lines of the stanza again contain two words each. This circumstances connects them to 52 the beginning of the poem, and thus integrates them Into the description of the contents of the poet's dreamscape. In fact, the entire stanza is now dominated by the image of death. If this is a depiction of his dreams, Iwaniuk.'s frequently cited inabi l i ty to bring forth frui t while he is in exile is scarcely surprising, especially since he appears to be obsessed by reminiscences and dreams and takes l i t t l e active or positive interest in his present situation or contemporary rea l i ty . The f i r s t stanza describing his dreamscape and ending in death is appropriately sealed by a f u l l stop, the only punctuation mark of the stanza. There are only three verbs in the poem, each coupled with a different subject: "disturbs" refers to the cactus, "is" refers to death, and "escape" refers to the stars and indirect ly to the poet. The most "concrete" verb, "is", indicates the unmistakably presence of death, which the verb "disturbs" temporarily Interrupts. The poet is confronted only with these two grim images (the cactus and death), since the stars in the sky, the only positive image, are not etched into his memory. This indicates that the poet perceives his situation as unpleasant. Now in exi le , he seems himself l iv ing in a desert facing death. His situation seems so desolate, that he does not even remember the beauty of the stars. "Co robic" demonstrates Iwaniuk's frustration and disappointment of producing what he considers insignificant words, and poignantly portraits his fears of becoming a poetic non-entity: PIszg i pisze, i co z tego Pioro sie wypisalb Siowo sie^ wysiowiJro I n ic . 53 Tyle czasu Tyle papieru Tyle zycia I n ic . Ani naprawde, sldw Ani naprawde, zycia Ani naprawd^ prawdy Co robic Co robid i po co Zycie i tak bez zalu Przekaze nas w obce re,ce.l9 (I write and write and what of i t The pen has written i t s e l f out The word has expressed i t s e l f And nothing So much time So much paper So much l i f e And nothing Indeed, neither a word Indeed, neither a l i f e Indeed, neither a truth. What to do What to do and what for Life anyway without grief Passes us into foreign (or: strange) hands.) This poem is rather uncharacteristic of Iwaniuk, whose poetry tends to be more eloquent. However, the rhythmic tinge and commonplace words of this poem carry their own meaning. The language is repetit ive; a word count reveals forty-nine words, but there are only twenty-nine different words used. This lack of a diversity of words effectively contributes to the message of the poem. The f i r s t stanza, an expression of despair at the f u t i l i t y of writing, induces a feeling of weariness. The f u l l stop's position of end of stanza intensifies the f ina l i ty inherent in this punctuation mark. 54 Each stanza thus appears to be an irrevocable pronouncement, sealed with a ful ls top. Furthermore, in the f i r s t three lines of the f i r s t stanza, no particular word is stressed, and this monotony, coupled with the monotony of the repetition in structure, establishes a tone of indifference and resignation. The poet writes on and on without producing anything he considers worthwile. However, in the last l ine of the f i r s t stanza, attention is drawn to the phrase "I nic" ("And nothing"). This phrase stands alone; the fact that nothing follows i t only emphasizes the meaning of the word "nic". The word "I" ("and"), which connects "nic" to a previous series of phrases further f inalizes the poss ibi l i ty of nothingness, because i t announces the f ina l item on a l i s t . The sound of the words " i nic" creates a strong and forceful sound, because they both are short single-syllable words containing the same vowel " i " . Thus i t becomes apparent that, ultimately, none of the poet's efforts bear results . The next stanza is also repetitive in structure and in words. Three of the four lines begin with "Tyle" ("So much") followed by something the poet says he gave "so much" of. The last l ine of the stanza is the same as the last l ine of the preceding stanza. The repetition of " i nic", retaining the same position in the stanza and the same punctuation, serves to express the feeling of disappointment and hopelessness of the phrase. The third stanza elaborates on "I nic" and explains what exactly "nothing" means to the poet. This stanza is the most repetitive one of the poem, both in structure and in words. Each l ine starts with the same two words "ani naprawde/' ("indeed, neither") followed by one item. The 55 disconsolation of this stanza is intensified by the absence of any concluding l ine - there is only repetition, no conclusion. The last stanza starts off in the reiterative manner of the other three, but departs from the pattern of these stanzas by providing an explanation for the poet's fate. Furthermore, i t represents a return to elocution, since none of the words of the last two lines are repeated. I n i t i a l l y the question Is asked whether there is any sense at a l l in doing anything, since nothing "real" is ever produced. Unti l this point, the poet has been referring to himself by implying that the inabi l i ty to produce anything "real" has been his faul t . Now, however, he takes a more universal view. He changes the persona from "I" to "we" in the last l ine of the poem, thereby aligning himself with a community of people who might be undergoing the same misfortune. However, he blames this neither on the individual nor on the community, but states that i t is "zycie" ("life") which "przekaze nas w obce re^ ce" ("passes us into foreign hands"). Here again we find evidence of the powerlessness of the individual - he Is, l ike his body in "Siowo w slowo" (see p. 57), a puff b a l l , subjected to the whims of l i f e or fate. This is an indication of the powerlessness of the writer In exile , who is dependent on outside influences, which may pass him into "foreign hands''^ a reference to his country of exi le . The poet is thus rendered unstable and insecure with nothing to support him, not even the word. Since the word has already expressed i t s e l f , there appears to be l i t t l e hope for i t to begin anew; the word has, in a sense, died for the poet. 56 Iwaniuk's main concern was to write the truth; in fact, this is one reason why he went into exile - "Wyszedlem aby mowid prawde"20 ("I le f t to t e l l the truth"). However, nothing comes of i t . The poet has covered so much paper and has produced neither a "real" word nor a "real" truth. At this point, he appears to have lost a l l his desire for writing, perhaps because no one is there to l i s ten to him. Iwaniuk thus becomes increasingly Insignificant; in his own eyes he essentially ceases to be a poet: S t i l l alone, a man who does not exist, a merchant of foreign words. I write non existent poems for non-existent readers [ t / o ] 2 l The non-existence of the poet is contrasted by the existence of: real editors, men of le t ters , government o f f i c ia l s , and of course our Prime Minister; a l l very peculiar people 2 2 These people are a l l part of the poet's country of exile; for them, the poet does not exist . Iwaniuk cr i t i c i zes their lack of interest In him and in poets in general; he sees them chiefly as a collection of sober bureaucrats, far removed from his world as a poet, and even farther removed from the source of his identity. He becomes doubly alienated and exiled by being considered non-existent as a foreign poet as well as a person. Iwaniuk is noticeably embittered by his situation - he appears to resents the attitude of his new country towards him as a poet, an attitude he portrays thus: Poets, according to Plato, should be sentenced and committed without t r i a l . 2 3 57 Iwaniuk seems reluctant to l ive in the present, and even more reluctant to think of the future, perhaps because of his insecurity, as he writes in "Czy mozna dzis budowac na niepewnych slowach": "Czy mozna dzis budowac na niepewnych slowach / jak na ruchomym piasku swoje babilony?" (Can one build today on uncertain words/ build one's babilons on the shift ing sand?) However, the past, mirrored in his dreams, is also problematic for him, because i t seems to force i t s e l f on him. In "Slowo w slowo" for instance, his days begin when nightfal l comes: Moje ranne zorze przychodza, wieczorem Ciemnos'c na rze,sy ktadzie obca dlon. Zamykaja, sie okna cho6 otwarte sa Wnqtrze poduszki niesie zapomnienie. Zyje, jak nlc wsuplany w powietrze Z wczoraj na wczoraj i z dzis iaj na d z i s i a j . Moje marzenia wysnil za mnle czas. 0 zorze podrdzuja^ce jak ja bezustannie Nie ma dla nas momentu wytchnienia. Nie moge, siebie uniesc dalej nizbym chciai Cialo jest dmuchawiec ale siowo nie Tak dlugo jak wiem, jestem w jego wn^trzu. Juz kukulka krzyczala godzine dwunasta, Zebrana pamie,c nie moze si^ pozbierac Tak jeszcze niedawno bylem - a tak dawno j u z . 3 * (My dawns come in the evening Darkness places a foreign (or: strange) palm over my eyelashes. [t/o] The windows close although they are open The inside of the pillow carries obl ivion. 1 l ive l ike a thread knotted into the a ir From yesterday to yesterday and from today to today. [t/o] Time thought out my dreams for me. Oh dawns travel l ing l ike I continuously For us there is no moment of rest . I cannot l i f t myself (up) further than I l ike The body is l ike a puff bal l but the word is not As long as I know, I am In i t s inside. Already the cuckoo cried out the twelfth hour The collected memory cannot assemble i t s e l f . I have not yet been for a long time - but so long already.) 58 The poem begins with the contradictory declaration that the poet's dawns arrive in the evening, a reversal of the normal process. Dawns are usually the precursors of daylight, which shed light on real i ty and l i f e . Here, however, they announce the arr iva l of night and darkness, the realm of unreality and dreams, a type of escape from the poet's present s i tuation. Thus the poet's day begins in the evening, an indication of the paradoxical situation of the exile poet l i v ing essentially in the past. Lines 5 and 6 reveal the state of the poet: he sees himself as a thread knotted into the a i r , a curious connection of one fragile element with another which lends no physical support to either. Nevertheless, their connection is binding, and so the thread, or the poet, must share the f lu id and unpredictable movements of the a i r . This is an appropriate image of the poet's situation in exile: his fate depends on outside forces, not on his own w i l l . Line 11 continues the theme of the poet as a victim of other forces (as mentioned in l ine 2 and l ine 5): the poet's body is l ike a puff b a l l , and, l ike the thread in the a i r , i t can be blown in any direction against his w i l l . The poet quickly points out that the word is quite different -i t is not a puff b a l l . Consequently, i t must be so l id , stable and autonomous. In the next l ine , the poet discloses his double identity: he not only exists inside his volat i le and powerless body, but he has also existed inside the word "Tak dlugo jak wiem" ("as long as I know"). According to the poet, he has thus been l iv ing inside the word, or the language, ever since he can remember. Consequently, the word 59 i s inextricably tied up with the consciousness of the poet who is protected and, at the same time, trapped by the word; on the one hand, the word lends him s tabi l i ty and shelter, on the other hand, i t wields power over him, making him effectively i t s prisoner. A break is announced in l ine 13, reminiscent of the fairy tale "Cinderella" where the spel l is broken as soon as the clock strikes 12, thereby dispel l ing the dream and asserting rea l i ty . The word "juz" ("already") indicates disappointment that midnight has come too soon, and suggests that the poet shuns the return to rea l i ty . The poet's perception of time is at odds with absolute time: while the poet rationally "knows" that memories can only be made real in the twilight of dreams, he nevertheless transforms rational knowledge into individual and personal feeling divorced from the rational i ty of day. These two perceptions of time are combined in the last l ine of the poem; the dash announces the transit ion from one state to the other, while simultaneously positing their coexistence. Iwaniuk's situation in exile Is rather disparaging: he is a poet on the verge of becoming a non-poet due to a lack of words. He lives the paradoxical l i f e of the exile , mixing real i ty and dreams, while often ignoring the present. He is essentially a passive being, always blaming fate or l i f e for his situation, even blaming the word for not responding to his summons. 60 CHAPTER III A COMPARISON OF DOMIN AND IWANIUK Hilde Domin and Waclaw Iwaniuk, who come from different backgrounds and have spent their exile in different countries, both wrote poetry permeated by their exile experience. Although they frequently use different themes to express their experience, this experience nevertheless is the common denominator which permits a comparison of the two poets. Life In exile was not a voluntary choice for either Domin or Iwaniuk; consequently they see themselves in the role of theJ victim of a force which drove them into exile , as exemplified in Domin's "Bau mir ein Haus": Der Wind kommt, der salzige Wind, der uns iibers Meer treibt und uns an einen Strand wirft-'-Once removed from their countries, both poets sense the essential insecurity of their position, and It is not surprising that much of their poetry deals with various forms of security, such as the Issues of shelter, home, Identity, s tab i l i ty , and a sense of belonging. Insecurity, ins tab i l i ty and the threat of losing one's Identity appear to be the main misfortunes confronting the exiled writer. As the exile is removed from his surroundings, his sense of belonging to a larger group, which contributed to his feeling of security at home, is taken away. The exile belongs nowhere, he feels unwanted and uninvited. This sense of not belonging causes his feelings of insecurity; removed from his surroundings, he is precariously suspended in a void as 61 Domin describes i t in her poem "Nur eine Rose als Stu'tze": Aber ich liege in Vogelfedern, hoch ins Leere gewiegt. I*/0! Mir schwindelt. Ich schlafe nicht e i n . 2 Domin often expresses her longing for security in a tangible way; for instance in "Bau mir ein Haus" she asks for a sol id house: "nimm Steine / und bau mir ein Haus". 3 she feels that she must rely on some sort of external security, because she has a "Ko'rper aus Sand", which is prone to be carried off by the power of the wind, and so, l ike the helpless and homeless bird without feet, she is forced to go wherever the wind pushes her. However, Domin soon discovers that security in the form of a tangible object, or even psychological security w i l l always be elusive, because the trai ts of exile cannot be shaken off: Unverllerbares E x i l du tra'gst es bei d ir du schlflpfst hinein gefaltetes Labyrinth Wu'ste einsteckbar^ Exile is incompatible with security, even with the rather minimal security provided by the possession of objects. Objects might beckon the exiled person, asking to be adopted, but Domin maintains that the security afforded by objects is merely i l lusory: Sag dem Schosshund Gegenstand ab der dich anwedelt aus den Schaufenstern. Er i r r t . Du riechst nicht nach Blelben.^ There is yet another poem entitled "Fremder" in which she expresses her lightness and susceptibi l i ty to the "wind", which assumes the role of 62 the hunter in her poems, indiscriminately hunting those who cannot defend themselves with their own weight: Ich fa l le durch jedes Netz wie ein Toter fa l l e ich durch die Netze hindurch. Samenkorn ohne Erde schwerelos treibt mich der Wind aus alien Netzen empor^ For Domin, the exile Is essentially a weightless being. Nothing, least of a l l he himself, is powerful enough to hold him down when the wind comes. In the above poem, the seed has the potential to grow roots to become a tree; however, i t is unable to settle because It is not held down by the weight of earth. It i s , in a way, exiled by the very earth i t belongs to. Like the seed, the exile has no opportunity to develop lasting roots. Here, one important difference emerges between Domin's and Iwaniuk's view of the exile's position: Domin's exile might be powerless when confronted with the wind and dr i f t helplessly through the a i r , but he is al ive and moving; he always seems to be actively struggling. Iwaniuk's exi le , on the other hand, practical ly ceases to l i ve ; rather than being compared to a seed, he is l ike a barren tree, dry and apparently l i f e l e s s : "Jestem jak suche drzewo"7 ("I am l ike a dry tree"). Thus there is a significant contrast between Domin's Images which deal with a i r , lightness, f l i ght , wind, and movement, and Iwaniuk's, which generally appear frozen and motionless. Both, however, are conscious of the powerlessness of the exi le . 63 Iwaniuk's most common Images of exile are connected with the dryness, barrenness and silence found in "Na Antypodach": Ale do tego potrzebne jest siowo Nad ktorym siedze, w milczeniu I czekam W suchym jak ziarno piasku krajobrazie. °" (But for this the word is necessary Over which I s i t in silence and wait In a landscape dry as a grain of sand) and In "Planeta": Jestem jak suche drzewo Jestem nag! Zdje,to ze mnie klejnot z ie lenl Bez kwiatu Bez owocu Jestem jak paralytik elektrycznie zwawy9 (I am l ike a dry tree I am naked Taken from me the jewel of greenery Without flower Without f ru i t I am l ike a paralytic e lec tr ica l ly l ive ly ) The aspect of l i f elessness, here portrayed in the image of the dry and barren tree, is intensified by the image of the paralytic who depends on technological devices ( a r t i f i c i a l devices which can only simulate l i f e ) , rather than on himself, to go through the motions of l i f e . In addition, Iwaniuk feels alone and pract ical ly non-existent, because nobody acknowledges his existence: "to be alone is to be a nobody / existence requires many pairs of eyes", 10 he says in his poem "5". Eventually, the threat of gradually fading into poetic non-existence becomes real to Iwaniuk. His word is now as good as "forbidden" - i t is not the language understood in his new country. If he 64 speaks in his language, he is never sure who w i l l l i s ten: Trudno mowid slowem zakazanym gdy nie widze, nikogo i nie wiem czy sa^l ( it is hard to speak with a forbidden word when I see no one and don't know i f anyone is there) [t/o] These lines i l lus trate the f u t i l i t y and d i f f i cu l ty of writing without a reader. The poet foresees no one, and therefore he has a feeling of writing into nothingness, or, at best, into uncertainty. He compares himself to a philanthropist who believes in the future. This comparison, however, is negative, rather than hopeful. As he writes to the absent, his word has already been congealed in the past, and i t seems doubtful i f i t w i l l be understood in the future: Mowi§ jak fi lantrop ktory stawla na przyszlosc Do nieobecnych. iatwo ml bo mowle, jak do sieble wierszem ktdry juz ostygl i jest oboje^tny na dziaianie pogody i zmiany temperatur. [t/o] Czy ktos mnie slucha, nie wiem. Nie widze, nikogo w najblizszym pejzazu lat.12 (I speak to the absent l ike a philanthropist who believes in the future. It is easy for me because I speak as i f to myself with a poem which has already grown cold [t/o] and is indifferent to the act iv i ty of the weather and changes of temperature. [t/o] I don't know i f someone hears me. I don't see anyone in the Immediate landscape of years) [t/o] Since there are no readers, the poet and his poems might as well not exist; this implies that Iwaniuk indeed needs other pairs of eyes to acknowledge his existence as a poet. Similarly, in "8" he writes: 65 on my bookshelf rests a de luxe edition of Toynbee's History o f ' C i v i l i z a t i o n , but above i t is my non-existent portrait , which blends into the white w a l l . . . vanishing from i ts frame the face of a poet. Yes, my eyes narrow, watching i t d isappear. 1 3 Loneliness and the sense of being ignored leads Iwaniuk to imagine himself a barren poet threatened with extinction. As he looks at his portrai t , he sees i t fading into the wall and disappear into the realm of silence. The exiled poet, cut off from the l iv ing stream of language, is confronted by silence which threatens to overpower him. It is significant that his cycle of poems entitled "From my Canadian Diary" as well as other poems found in the volume Evenings on'Lake'Ontario are written in English, and that they concern the poet's reflections on his present situation, rather than his reminiscences. Perhaps this represents an effort on Iwaniuk's part to regain existence by writing in a language for which there are many "pairs of eyes". Iwaniuk appears to fear being forgotten, to be relegated to non-existence. In this volume, he confirms his existence by writing In the language of his adopted country; the fact that he writes poetry in English in his later years perhaps already signifies an acceptance of his increasing non-existence as a Polish poet. His poems written in English present an attempt at a renewed existence, which is perhaps similar to Domin's "rebirth" in her own language. One of Iwaniuk's main concerns is the past. In this respect again, he differs from Domin. Domin does not write much about her past or her 66 memories; but instead concentrates on the predicament of her present situation as a permanent exi le . Iwaniuk, on the other hand, is so concerned with the past that he tries to ignore the present, portrayed in "Lisc" as the sorrowful state of a leaf severed from its tree. Paradoxically, in "21" Iwaniuk asserts, however, that his past is dead: "For years I have been waiting here, . . . with my past as dead as the Dead Sea. "14 xhe past is frozen in his memories; i t can never be reawakened, because i t no longer exists. In this respect, the past is indeed dead; i t may be preserved only In his memories, as imperfectly as a photograph which preserves only the memories of the object i t represents, but not the object i t s e l f . In this poem, the poet ceases to l ive himself, but lets the Lake l ive for him. Iwaniuk finds himself in the peculiar position of being pract ical ly dead to the present, because he cannot l ive without his past, which, according to him, is dead. He seems to consider l i f e in the present a betrayal of the past, as he states in his poem "12", in which he describes Toronto, despite the c i ty's bustling act iv i ty as his "no-man's-land".1^ This poem contains yet another indication of the importance of the past for Iwaniuk. Here, he defines what for him is the "place", in other words, what is real for him: For the place Is that which no longer exists although we say: It did. ° This again implies that the place which exists for him no longer exists, and that he considers only this now non-existent place to be "real". This place is therefore a part of the past. It follows then, that the present is "no place", and does not really exist for the poet 67 (hence his idea of Toronto as a "no-man's-land"). Not only can Iwaniuk not forget the past, but he also believes that by accepting the present, by l iv ing for today, he betrays his past, his background, his memories -in short, a l l the things which had formed him. He is ultimately afraid of betraying himself and of losing his identity i f he would ful ly accept the presence of Toronto: I would not give a thought to yesterday or tomorrow, I would be happy to be and to go on, deceiving myself, and my past. 7 Overall , Iwaniuk's poems document his general dissatisfaction with l i f e which even leads him to resent being a l ive . In his poem "Ze mi uszio na sucho", he expresses regret at having gotten away scot-free: Niepotrzebnie sie, martwie, o kazd^ pie^ dz slowa Choc sto morz nas rozla^cza pozos ta£a pami^c' Dobra na odpoczynek jak izy oceanu. Uratowany, skarze, sie, ze zyje, ze mi uszlo na sucho. Na sucho? Do k r w i . 1 8 (Unnecessarily I worry about every Inch of a word [t/o] Though a hundred seas separate us, memory remained Good for a rest l ike the tears of the ocean. Saved, I complain that I l ive that I came out dry. Out dry? Completely.) The theme of loss, or of leaving, which both poets share, occurs most obviously in Iwaniuk's "Lisc" and in Domin's "Noch gestern": Dies Friihjahr i s t wie ein Herbst, ein Abschiednehmen von allem was kommt. Das Karussell fa'hrt vorbei. Das Karussell mit den grossen Tieren. Nie wieder 68 wirst du mitfahren und warst doch noch gestern eins von den Kindern die mitfahren mu'ssen. Du wirst die Geste noch machen, fast al le machen ja nichts als die Geste, Leben heisst ho'fllch sein, kein Spielverderber. Du isst das E i s , das man dir in die Hand gibt, du lachelst, weil a l le lacheln, fast a l le machen die Geste der Freude fur die andern. Gestern hast du gelacht, weil du gelacht hast. Du musst es weiter tun, du darfst niemand enttauschen. Vlele Tage werden auch blau sein, es gibt immer blaue Tage wo Lachen leichter i s t , beinah wie fruher -beinah. Keiner ausser dir kennt die kleine Lin ie , den Strich auf dem Boden, den riesigen Strom, den du nie mehr uberquerst .^ This poem, l ike Iwaniuk's "Lis'c", describes the transition from one stage of the poet's l i f e to another. It also applies to the situation of the exile , especially as Domin sees i t : once he has crossed the stream and gone into exile , he can never go back. The small l ine on the ground turns out to be a large river for the person concerned, because i t marks a significant and irrevocable change. The immediate difference between "Lisc" and "Noch gestern" Is that in Iwaniuk's poem there are more "black and white" contrasts in his depiction of the past and present. However, there is also a subtle s imilarity in their depiction of the past. Both of them use unpleasant images to describe the past: Iwaniuk depicts a figure of the gallows, and Domin depicts happiness as a forced social gesture. 69 Both things are rather negative i f taken by themselves, but they appear positive in comparison to the poet's exiled state. Despite being hung by the neck, Iwaniuk's figure on the gallows sings hymns, because i t is s t i l l attached to the tree. Domin's laughter, although merely a "gesture", never again is so happy once she has crossed the stream; her subsequent laughter is only "beinah wie friiher". Thus these two poems express the poets' awareness that, although things were not perfect in the past and they might have resented some of i t s aspects, their past situation was preferable to their subsequent one, because i t took place in their home and they fe l t more secure in i t . Iwaniuk states that having been "saved", having survived, has actually harmed him. He seems to l ive in the present l ike a l i fe less she l l . He l ives , as he says at one point "od marzenia do marzenia"20 ("from dream to dream"); he starts to l ive when his dreams arrive in the evening, as he writes in "Slowo w slowo". In his opinion, exile has had a disastrous effect on him as a poet. He is very negative about his s ituation, and there are few poems in which he expresses any hope for the future, as he does In "To wszystko", where he hopes for a reawakening of everything he has lost . It appears, therefore, that exile has threatened to extinguish Iwaniuk's poetic existence, and for this reason he is just i f ied in worrying "o kazda piqdz slowa"21 ("about every inch of a word"). Like Iwaniuk, Domin has experienced a permanent loss of belonging and knows that her past is lost , perhaps even dead as she describes i t in "Ko'ln". Even when she returns to her native c i ty , she sees a strange c i ty 70 i n the place where "her" city once was. Exile has thus cut her off from continuity, which she cannot recapture though she Is able to return. In this sense, her situation is not unlike Iwaniuk's. Although Domin perceives exile somewhat differently than Iwaniuk, there is one poem in which she shares his concern about the danger of silence: in "Vogel Klage", the bird whose cries are not heard by anyone (and are therefore effectively s i lent) eventually drowns. Here, Domin recognizes the threat of speechlessness confronting the exiled poet. Just as nobody hears the bird's cries as It drowns, no one might hear the poet's attempts at speech as he makes a last effort to prevent his death as a poet. Here, as in Iwaniuk, there is a subtle implication concerning the reader: i f no one hears the sound, there is real ly no sound (similarly, If no one reads the poems, they do not actually exist outside of the poet). Fortunately, Domin has learned to depend on language as her only support (in "Nur eine Rose als Stiitze"): she appears more confident of the s tabi l i ty of this support than Iwaniuk, and Is less concerned than he is about "many pairs of eyes" witnessing her existence. Although Domin, l ike Iwaniuk, is cut off from her past, she is not in danger of losing her identity as Iwaniuk thinks he i s . She finds i t possible to continue her existence as a poet, because she believes In the support of language. In fact, she started writing poetry in exi le , and so actively reasserted her identity through her language. Thus, though both Iwaniuk and Domin are faced with the similar problem of losing their identity as poets, each copes with this problem differently: Domin reaches for language as her "support", while Iwaniuk 71 claims that he waits for language to support him (although he does mold the language himself by writing). However, he knows that language does have a supportive power. In spite of Domin's portrayal of the si lent bird without feet in "Vogel Klage", and her many s imi lari t ies to a b ird , she refuses to turn into the "Vogel Klage". This state (of being l ike a plaintive bird) is essentially al ien to her: she expresses this al ien state with an image of dizziness, implying that she is not at ease when l iv ing l ike a bird in a nest in the a ir (as in "Nur eine Rose als Stu'tze"), and therefore looks for a support which she finds in language. The state of exile as a threat to the poet's identity naturally leads him to search for security. Domin, on returning home after her exile and discovering that there is no secure shelter for her at home, instead finds a permanent support in language. Her identity was formed by the language of her childhood, of her f i r s t conception of l i f e , and i t therefore remains her "home", the only thing no one can take from her. For her, exile is unloseable; an exi le , even after his return, w i l l always be an exi le . Language has become her only stable home which w i l l accompany her wherever she goes: Das Gefieder der Sprache streicheln Worte sind Vo'gel mit ihnen davonfliegen.22 Domin l ives In a state of symbiosis with language; she provides words with a voice even when they are unwanted, and words in turn provide her with a home for her identity. This is expressed in her poem "Ungewunschte Kinder", where she offers warmth to freezing, unwanted words. 72 Ungewtfnschte Kinder meine Worte fr ieren. Kommt ich w i l l euch auf meine warmen Fingerspitzen setzen Schmetterlinge in W i n t e r . 2 3 Domin treats words as her own creations, she describes them as her "children". Her language, although i t exists outside her as well , is re-created in the poet and therefore assumes a strong personal relationship with the poet. Iwaniuk's relationship with his language, on the other hand, appears to be less personal; i t is tied up with his past, and cannot be separated from i t to become completely his own. He believes that he owes his words to his parents, and thus whatever belongs to him was inherited from the past and s t i l l belongs to the past. Thus he believes that he can never free his words from their past: Today, nothing is mine. Nothing. Except my words, haunted by their words, which hover over my past and over my future, too. 2 ^ Consequently, in order to find a support and to preserve their ident i t ies , both poets pay a lot of attention to language as such. Iwaniuk frequently complains about a lack of words and the apparently disinterested silence of the word, whereas Domin does not. An important fact is that Domin writes only in German, whereas Iwaniuk writes in Polish, as well as in his adopted language, English. He even uses both 73 languages at the same time in his poem "Don't Touch Me, I'm F u l l of Snakes". Another aspects worth considering in this context are the t i t l e s . Both poets occasionally entit le their poems in a foreign language. Domin, for example, uses t i t l e s such as: "Silence and exile", "Salva nos", "Vademecum", "Ars longa", "Ecce homo". However, she does not use t i t l e s in Spanish, the language of her country of exile , the Dominican Republic, but instead uses Latin and, less frequently, English. Iwaniuk's "foreign" t i t l e s include: "Apres le deluge", "Ars poetica", "Post Scriptum", "Don't Touch Me", "Non sum dlgnus". The languages are French, Latin and the language of his country of exile , English. In addition, Iwaniuk has written an entire volume of poems in English entitled Evenings" on ~ Lake Ontario. It is noteworthy that this volume relates to a large extent to the present, rather than to the past. In Evenings"on~Lake~Ontario, he talks mainly about his reflections about his new country, and about his situation as an exi le . These observations may provide an indication to which extent the two poets allow themselves to be influenced by the new language that surrounds them, and may also demonstrate their sense of security in their own languages. How do they treat the subject of language in their poetry? It has been argued that for Domin, language is home, a supportive shelter which w i l l never refuse her, i t Is "das letzte Unverlierbare (Zuhause)".25 Domin is part of the language, and language is a part of her; here, the poet and her language appear to merge. However, language also transcendents the poet; Domin recognizes that i t has existed prior to her and w i l l continue to exist after her. Language thus assumes the 74 characteristics of an omnipresent deity. It Is, in fact, something holy for Domin, as she writes in her poem "Ars longa": Der Atem In einer Vogelkehle der Atem der Luft in den Zweigen. Das Wort wie der Wind selbst sein hei l iger Atem geht es aus und ein. Immer findet der Atem Zweige Wolken Vogelkehlen. Immer das Wort das hellige Wort einen Mund. 2^ The word, or language, is unending - i t always finds i ts expression through someone's mouth. Domin feels herself to be the receptacle as well as the spokesperson of the word. In this respect, the word, she implies, l ives through the poet. Since the word is as natural and necessary as breath, i t w i l l always find "Vogelkehlen". Here, the word is truly the "Vogel mit Wurzeln" as she entitles one of her poems. The word has root not only In the bird's throat (the exile's throat, to continue Domin's association of the bird with the exi le) , but also outside It . Therefore the expression of words, or of language, presents no major problem for her; i t is as simple and necessary as breathing. Domin's attitude to language is uncomplicated, intui t ive , perhaps somehow mystical. Language does not inhabit a separate place; she does not have to search for words as Iwaniuk does, because they already exist in her. Language is simply a part of herself without which she would not exist . 75 Iwaniuk's attitude to language is rather more complicated and ambivalent. For him, language is never a given, he must constantly search for i t , even without the assurance of finding i t . Language is something external to the poet - i t is up to him to approach i t , to seek i ts shelter ("In a l l my wishes I pray for words", he writes in "21" 2 7). The word exists by i t s e l f , i t does not seek i ts expression. Iwaniuk, therefore, l ike Domin, recognizes the independent sp ir i t of words, but unlike Domin, he does not utter them easi ly . For Iwaniuk, the word does not go out l ike a breath looking for throats, but remains somewhere waiting for the poet to approach i t : "Siedze w milczeniu nad zamknietym slowem."28 ("j s±t in silence over a closed word"). Iwaniuk, who strives to produce only "proper" words to satisfy the language, finds i t d i f f i c u l t to summon words. Domin, on the other hand, finds i t relat ively easy to produce words. In her poem "Geburtstage", she compares the "birth" of a word by the poet to the birth of a ch i ld , only easier and quicker: Ich habe niemand ins Licht gezwa'ngt nur Worte Worte drehen nicht den Kopf sie stehen auf sofort und gehn29 Domln's words do not need any further support; once she has produced them, they already stand on their own feet; they walk away and assume their own "life". The word poses no d i f f i cu l t i e s for her - she does not even have to please i t . This perhaps indicates that Domin feels sure of herself as a poet; her words, she feels, immediately have enough strength to stand by themselves. t 76 However, despite her easy-going manner with language, in her poem "Unaufhaltsam", Domin agrees with Iwaniuk on the unerasable importance and potential power of the single word: Das eigene Wort wer holt es zuru'ck das lebendige eben noch ungesprochene Wort? Wo das Wort vorbeifl iegt verdorren die Gra'ser, werden die Bla'tter gelb, fa'llt Schnee. Ein Vogel kame dir wieder. Nicht dein Wort, das eben noch ungesagte, in deinem Mund. Du schickst andere Worte hinterdrein, Worte mit bunten, weichen Federn. Das Wort i s t schneller, das schwarze Wort. Es kommt Immer an, es hort nicht auf, an-zukommen. Lieber ein Messer als ein Wort. Ein Messer kann stumpf sein. Ein Messer t r i f f t oft am Herzen vorbei. Nicht das Wort. Am Ende ist das Wort, immer am Ende das Wort.30 This poem again expresses Domin's conviction of the power of the word. Here, too, as in "Ars longa", the word appears to be deified and assumes a religious connotation: The word is a l ive , i t has the power to be f r u i t f u l as well as destructive: i t can cause leaves to turn yellow, 77 grass to wi l t , snow to f a l l , even to cause a type of death. The word endures to the end and Is the end of a l l things; nothing follows after the last word (compare in Bible: "In the beginning was the Word" John 1,1.). The religious overtone here is quite exp l i c i t . Domin does not doubt the power of (her) words, as Iwaniuk does. Iwaniuk, though also aware of the power of the "right" word, nevertheless does not identify himself with this kind of metaphysical value of the word. In his poem "Slowo w slowo" he maintains that "Jestem jak bezsilne slowo"-*! ("I am l ike a powerless word"), a statement with which he stresses his feeling of i solat ion, the result of being outside his familiar context. For Iwaniuk, the word has yet another value: i t is stronger than he and yields power over him; he would bring many sacrifices to please i t ; in "Za miske soczewicy" he even admits "Wol<| odmo'wic soble miejsca / przy rodzinnym stole by slowo nie mialo do mnie zalu"32 ( i W O u l d rather decline my place / at the family table than have the word hold a grudge against me). The word behaves l ike an authority (or a d i f f i c u l t lover) whom he has to please in order to gain Its favour. He is dependent on the benevolence of the word. In short, he sees himself as merely the product of the word, whereas Domin is also the word's producer. In this same poem, he claims that silence Is criminal "milczenie jest przeste,pstwem"33 ("silence is a crime"), which implies that words, the opposite of silence, are virtuous. The word is virtuous, and because i t should be used only in the "proper" way, i t sometimes remains si lent to the poet's summons. Iwaniuk does not wish to remain si lent (silence is a crime), despite his continuous act iv i ty as a poet, he complains in "Co 78 robic" that he has been unable to find a "true" or meaningful word: Tyle czasu Tyle papieru Tyle zycia I n ic . Ani naprawdes slow Ani naprawd^ zycia Ani naprawde, prawdy.3^ (So much time So much paper So much l i f e And nothing. Indeed, neither words Indeed, neither l i f e Indeed, neither truth) Iwaniuk therefore remains effectively s i lent . The words he produces are good for nothing, because they sound false or "inside out": "po co mi slowo ktore brzmi na opak"3^ ("what good is a word to me which sounds inside out"). With this implicit reasoning he creates an ambiguous situation: the word is s i lent - therefore i t is committing a crime i t s e l f . Thus the words, by remaining s i lent , also refuse Iwaniuk the release he wants from his own silence. Mysl przywoluje s£owo, slowo s i § wzbrania Nie chce bye nieslowne, choc je czlowiek zmusza3^ (The thought cal ls up a word, the word refuses It does not want to be unreliable, even though man forces It) [t/o] Here, again, he implies that the word does not l ike to be misused -i t prefers instead to be si lent and does not obey the poet. Here l i es perhaps the most important difference between Domin and Iwaniuk regarding their attitude to language. Although Iwaniuk at one point says that the word is a shelter (ostoj^ jest s lowo) , 3 7 i t seems to be an extremely 79 elusive shelter, by no means a rel iable one, as i t is for Domin. In Iwaniuk's case, the word is autonomous; i t exists without the poet, but the poet must have words to remain a poet. Thus Iwaniuk often sees his existence as a poet threatened ("but above is my non-existent portrai t , / which blends into the white w a l l . . . / vanishing from its frame / the face of a poet. "38). xhe word cannot be forced, but must somehow grant i t s e l f to the poet - the poet, after a l l , prays for i t . Iwaniuk is inside the word, almost l ike a prisoner. The word is "beyond" Iwaniuk, in the sense that i t not only is more powerful than he, but i t also holds Iwaniuk the poet in i t s power. Domin and Iwaniuk's common tra i t as exile poets seems to be the loss of security and the quest to rediscover i t in language. Though they both write to survive, Domin's words are part of her, whereas Iwaniuk's are on the outside. He depends on the word to revive him. The situation of the exiled poet evidently produces a heightened awareness of language. Both Domin and Iwaniuk make language the subject of their poems, but, as has been argued, they differ drast ical ly from each other. How are their respective attitudes reflected in the language of their poetry? Domin uses predominantly simple, everyday words and sentences, her poems look "clear". Iwaniuk's poems generally look more "busy", or, rather, more eloquent, and have a more complicated sentence structure. This is perhaps another reflection of his attitudes toward the word: he labours hard to get i t , polishes i t in the effort to find a "perfect" word which does not sound "inside out". The effect of exile on Iwaniuk is more tragic than on Domin. At times i t appears that he is completely 80 disoriented as he writes in "Na Antypodach": "pami^c nie zawsze zgadza£a sie, z czasem" ("memory did not always agree with time") and discouraged as in "Co robic", where a l l his words amount to nothing. As a contrast to Domin, Iwaniuk comes out empty handed. On the whole, the poetry of Domin and Iwaniuk differs s ignif icantly in their style of writing, which may be considered a reflection of their relationship with their language and the way they consider their exile experience. Domin's poetry seems to flow easily - i t Is simply written and relat ively harmonious. Iwaniuk's poetry, on the other hand, appears to have a more complicated context. His poetry seems to have evolved from a struggle; i t does not have the spontaneous quality of Domin's poetry, and thus seems dark and tortured. Perhaps this reflects Iwaniuk's disorientation in exi le , whereas the harmony of Domin's poetry indicates that, once having accepted the permanence of exile , she nevertheless has found her values, in particular her values as a poet. 81 CONCLUSION Ciemne jest wn^trze ciemnosci Ale slowa kt6"rych nie mozna wymowic Sa^  po stokroc" ciemniejszel (Dark is the inside of darkness But the words which you cannot say Are a hundred times darker.) This thesis has attempted to elucidate the effect the experience of exile has on two different poets and to analyze how this experience is reflected in their poetry. It has become clear that the poet in exile is under tremendous pressure, especially i f he wishes to continue functioning as a poet in his native language. The involuntariness of the poet's exile renders him insecure, not only as a person, but also, and perhaps more importantly, as a poet, since his l ink with his native country and i t s language has been severed. To escape the potentially destructive effect of poetic insecurity in exile and to minimize his isolat ion from the everchanging currents of his native language, he must, these poets imply, try to identify himself as closely as possible with his language in order to cope with and possibly dispel l any self-doubts of his value as a poet. Both writers imply or state direct ly (particularly Domin) that the poet has the power to find shelter and security in his language, because i t Is language which defines him as a poet by preserving his identity, even in a foreign country. The two poets discussed in this thesis are both aware of this and sought refuge in their language. The poetry expressing the exile experience of the two poets discloses similar 82 concerns such as feelings of insecurity, ins tab i l i ty , feelings of loss, the wish for security. However, these concerns, which often focus on language, are approached differently by both. Domin is more successful than Iwaniuk in defining herself through her language, because she believes that language naturally finds i ts expression in her, indeed that she is a sort of mouthpiece for her language. Iwaniuk appears to be more self-conscious in his role as a poet: not being recognized as such in his newly adopted country turns exile Into a bitter experience for him. In his poetry, he seems to be torn between str iving for the independent security language affords, the reluctance to leave behind his past, and possibly the wish to be recognized in his new country. Domin, on the other hand, is noticeably less concerned with her past, and more anxious to preserve herself as a thinking and feeling human being. Unlike Iwaniuk, she appears to be relat ively unconcerned with the poss ibi l i ty of her non-existence for others, hence the note of optimism in her poetry. It is thus the dependence of the poet on his language and his frustration in attempting to preserve i t in an alien and indifferent surrounding that makes him a particularly poignant representative of the exile: . . . i t is f i t t i ng that the writer in exile is most often regarded as the exile per se. The quality that gives him this representative status is the tool of his trade: his native language, which he cannot abandon without simultaneously surrendering his identity with the culture he represents.2 83 FOOTNOTES INTRODUCTION 1 Hilde Domin, "Unterwegs," Rffckkehr - der •'Schiffe (Frankfurt/Main: S. Fischer Verlag, 1982) 47. Alexander Stephan, Die " deotsche" Ex l l l i t era tur - 1933-1945 (Miinchen: C.H. Beck Verlag, 1979) 13lT 3Jozef Wit t l in , "The Splendor and The Squalor of Exi le ," Explorations ' in "Freedom; " Prose, " Narrative " and" Poetry"from- Kultura ed. Leopold Tyrmand (New York: Free Press, 1970) 12. ^Hilde Domin, Aber ' die 'Hoffnang (Miinchen: R. Piper & Co Verlag, 1982) 12. CHAPTER I - HILDE DOMIN 1Domin, Hoffnung 13. 2 Hilde Domin, "Herbstzeitlosen," Nur' eine' "Rose' "a ls ' " Stfltze (Frankfurt/Main: S. Fischer Verlag, 1962) 13. 3 Bettina von Wangenheim, ed. , Heimkehr - ins ' Wort; - • Materialien" 2U  Hilde Domin (Frankfurt/Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1982) 207. ^Hilde Domin, Von 'der ' Natur 'nicht ~ vorgesehen. (Miinchen: R. Piper & Co Verlag, 1974) 17. 5Domin, Natur 35. 6Domin, "Herbstzeitlosen," Rose 13. 7 Hilde Domin, "KOln", Hier (Frankfurt/Main: S. Fischer Verlag, 1984) 19. 8Domin, Hoffnung 12. ^Domin, Hoffnung 13. 1 0Domin, "Fremder," Schiffe 50. 1 1Domin, " E x i l , " Hier 24. 1 2Domin, "Hier," Hier 24. 84 1 3Domin, "Immer kreisen," Hier 40. 1 4Domin, "Vo'gel mit Wurzeln," Hier 41. 1 5Domln, Hoffnang 14. 1 6Domin, Hoffnang 24. 1 7Domin, Hoffnang 26. 1 8Domin, Hoffnang 12. ^Domin, Hoffnang 30. 2 0Domin, Hoffnang 31. 2 1Domin, Natar 37. 2 2 Horst Meller "Hilde Domin," Heimkehr ins Wort ed. Wangenheim 49. 2 3Domin, "Nur eine Rose als Sttftze," Rose 55. 2 4Domin, Hoffnung 24. 2 5Domin, "Bau mir ein Haus," Rose 21. 2 6Domin, "Von uns," Hier 17. 2 7Domin, "Wen es t r i f f t , " Rose 46. 2 8Domin, "Wen es t r i f f t , " Rose 46. 2 9Domin, "Wen es t r i f f t , " Rose 46. 3 0Domin, "Vogel Klage," Rose 68. 3 1Domin, "Warming," Schiffe 25. 3 2Domin, "Warnung," Schiffe 25. 3 3Domin, "Mit leichtem Gepa'ck," Schiffe 49. 3 4Domin, "Angsttraum," Schiffe 26. 3 5Domin, "Silence and exile," Hier 28. 3 6Domin, Hoffnang 12. 3 7Domin, "Alter werden," Hoffnang 9. 85 CHAPTER II - WACLAW IWANIUK •^Wactaw Iwaniuk "Marbles and a Rose," Dark"Times. Selected"Poems  of 'Waclaw•Iwaniuk» Jagna Boraks and Others, trans. Zbigniew Folejewski, ed. (Toronto: Hounslow Press, 1981) 94. 2Waclaw Iwaniuk, "Nie plami^c sie^ brudnym slbwem," Nemezis" ldzie  pustymi'drogami (London: Oficyna Stanislaw Glina, 1978) 2. %aclaw Iwaniuk, "5," Evenings ~ on - Lake ' Ontario (Toronto: Hounslow Press, 1981) 8. 4Iwanluk, "12," Ontario 16. ^Iwaniuk, "Za misk§ soczewicy," Nemezis 67. ^Iwaniuk, "Czy mam sie, cieszyc ze swiat dla mnie zmalal," Nemezis 26. 7 I have tried to do a l i t e r a l translation of the Polish. However, I also attempted to keep the original form of the poems. ^Iwaniuk, "Nie plamia^c sie, brudnym slowem," Nemezis 9. ^Iwaniuk, "Elegla o cmentarzu w Toronto i slowo o smiercl," Nemezis 56. 10Waclaw Iwaniuk, "Na Antypodach," Wybor Wierszy 18. 1 1Iwaniuk, "Na Antypodach," Wyb6r 18. 1 2Iwaniuk, "21," Ontario 29. 1Waclaw Iwaniuk, Ciemny Czas (Paris: Institut L i terack i , 1968) 9. 1 4Iwaniuk, "Planeta," Ciemny-Czas 40. 1 5Iwaniuk, "Don't Touch Me, I'm F u l l of Snakes," Ciemny C2as 50. 1 6Iwanluk, "Lisc," Ciemny C2as 61. 1 7Iwaniuk, "To Wszystko," Wybor 99. 1 8Iwaniuk, "Out of My Dream," Ontario 41. 1 9Iwaniuk, "Co robic," Neme2is 33. 2^Iwaniuk, "R^ka co wnosi falsz do swl^tyn," Nemezis 20. 86 2 1Iwaniuk, "6," Ontario 9. 2 2Iwaniuk, "6," Ontario 9. 2 3Iwaniuk, "6," Ontario 9. 24lwaniuk, "Czy mozna dzis budowac na niepewnych slowach," WyboV 11. 2 5 lwaniuk, "Slowo w slowo," Nemezis 39. CHAPTER III - COMPARISON ^•Hilde Domin, "Bau mir ein Haus," Rose 21. 2Domin, "Nur eine Rose als Stiftze," Rose 55. 3Domin, "Bau mir ein Haus," Rose 21. 4Domin, "Silence and exile," Hier 28. 5Domin, "Mit leichtem Gepa'ck," Schiffe 49. 6Domin, "Fremder," Schiffe 50. 7Iwaniuk, "Planeta," Ciemny Czas 40. 8Iwaniuk, "Na Antypodach," Wybor 19. ^Iwaniuk, "Planeta," Czas 40. 1 0Iwaniuk, "5," Ontario 7. 11Iwaniuk, "Za miske soczewlcy," Nemezis 67. l 2Iwaniuk, "Za miske. soczewlcy," Nemezis 67. 13Iwaniuk, "8," Ontario 11. 14Iwaniuk, "21," Ontario 29. 1^Iwaniuk, "12," Ontario 16. l 6Iwaniuk, "12," Ontario 16. I7Iwaniuk, "12," Ontario 16. 87 1 8Iwaniuk, "Ze mi uszlo na sucho," Neme2is 47. 1 9Domin, "Noch gestern," Rose 80. 2 0Iwaniuk, "Hierarchie," Nemezis 13. 2^Iwaniuk, "Ze mi uszlo na sucho," Nemezis 47. 2 2Domin, "Das Gefieder der Sprache," Hier 39. 2 3Domin, "Ungewunschte Kinder," Hier 24. 2 4 lwaniuk, "Legacy," Ontario 33. 2 5Domin, Hoffnung 12. 2 6Domin, "Ars longa," Hier 61. 2 7Iwaniuk, "21," Ontario 29. 2 8 lwaniuk, "Na Antypodach," Wyb6r 18. 2 9 H i l d e Domin "Geburtstage," Ich" w i l l - dich (Mtfnchen: R. Piper & Co, 1970) 40. 3 0Domin, "Unaufhaltsam," Schiffe 19. 3 1Iwaniuk, "Slowo w slowo," Neme2ls 39. 3 2Iwaniuk, "Za misk§ soczewicy," Neme2is 67. 3 3Iwaniuk, "Za miske soczewicy," Nemezis 67. 3 4Iwaniuk, "Co robic," Nemezis 33. 3 5Iwanluk, "Przeciw mitologi i ," Nemezis 52. 3^Iwaniuk, "Elegia o cmentarzu w Toronto i siowo o smierci," Nemezis 56. 3 7Iwaniuk, "Czy mam s i^ cieszyc ze swiat dla mnie zmalal," Neme2is 26. 3 8Iwaniuk, "8," Ontario 11. 3 9Iwanluk, "Na Antypodach," Wybo'r 18. 88 CONCLUSION 1Iwaniuk, "Czekam," Neme2ls 10. 2Robert F . Bel l and John Spalek, eds. Ex i le ; • - •The''Writer *s Experience (Chapel H i l l : The University of North Carolina Press, 1982) x i i . 89 WORKS CITED B e l l , Robert F . and John M. Spalek, eds. Exi le: The Writer's Experience; Chapel H i l l : The University of North Carolina Press, 1982. Domin, Hilde. Aber" die•" Hof f nung; Miinchen: R. Piper & Co Verlag. 1982. - - . Hier. Frankfurt/Main: S. Fischer Verlag, 1984. . Ich w i l l dich; Miinchen: R. Piper & Co Verlag, 1970. ' . Nur' eine' Rose' a ls ' Stu'tze. Frankfurt /Main: S. Fischer Verlag, 1962. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Ru'ckkehr• der" Schiffe. Frankfurt/Main: S. Fischer Verlag, 1982. " ' Von ' der''Natar • nicht' • vorgesehen. Miinchen: R. Piper & Co Verlag, 1974. Iwaniuk, Waclaw. Ciemny Czas. Paris: Institut L i terack i , 1968. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Dark" Times. Selected Poems of Wactaw Iwaniuk. Trans. Jagna Boraks and Others. Ed. Zbigniew Folejewski. Toronto: Hounslow Press, 1979. ' • ' - Evenings on Lake Ontario. Toronto: Hounslow Press, 1981. WyboV wierszy. Paris: Institut L i terack i , 1965. Nemezis " idz i e" pustymi " drogami. London: Oficyna Stanislaw Glina, 1978. 1 Stephan, Alexander. Diedeutsche'Exllliteratur'1933^1945; Miinchen: C.H. Beck Verlag, 197<T Wangenheim, Bettina von. Heimkehr"ins'Wort;' Materialien"zu'Hilde^Domin; Frankfurt/Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1982. Wi t t l in , Jozef. "The Splendor and The Squalor of Ex i l e ." Explorations"in  Freedom; " Prose; • Narrative "and" P o e t r y from Kultara. Ed. Leopold Tyrmand. New York: Free Press, 1970. 90 WORKS CONSULTED Bielatowlcz, Jan. Literatura."na 'emigracii . London: Polska Fundacja Kulturalna, 1970^  Danilewicz Ziel inska, Maria. Szkice~o literatarze~ emlgracyjnej. Paris: Institut L i terack i , 1978. Dariau, Donald G. and Ludwig M. Fischer, eds. Das' 'Exilerlebnis . Columbia, South Carolina: Camden House, 1982. Dedecius, K a r l . Polnische' Poesie'des'20.'* Jahrhunderts. Frankfurt/Main: Ul l s te in GmbH, 1982. ] ' Domin, Hilde. Das 2weite 'Paradies . Munchen: R. Piper & Co Verlag, 1968. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ W02U' Lyrlk heute. Munchen: R. Piper & Co Verlag, 1968. Drewitz, Ingeborg. Die zersto'rte Kontinuitat. Wien: Europaverlag, 1981. Gi l lon , Adam and Ludwick Krzyrzanowski. Introduction'' to .Modern- Polish  L i terature; " An - Anthology' of' Fict ion' and ~ Poet ry. New York: Twayne Publishers, Inc. , 1964. Grimm, Reinhold and Hermand Jost. Exil 'and'innere * Emigration. Vol . 1. Frankfurt/Main: Athenaeum Verlag GmbH, 1972. 2 vols. Hohendahl, Peter Uwe and Egon Schwarz, eds. Exil 'und'innere'Emigration. Vol . 2. Frankfurt/Main: Athenaeum Verlag GmbH, 1972. 2 vols . Jentzsch, Bernd, ed. Ich"'sah • das"Dankle"schon - von 'feme• kommen; '  Ernledrigung' und' Vertreibnng ln;poetischen Zeugnissen. Munchen: Kindler Verlag GmbH, 1979. Kantorowlcz, Alfred. Po l l t lk 'and'LIteratar• im'Exi l . MUnchen: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1983. Koebner, Thomas, Wulf Ko'pke, and Joachim Radkau, eds. ExilforsChang. Ein internationales Jahrbuch. Vol . 1. Miinchen: edition text + k r i t i k GmbH, 1983. Levine, Madeline G. Contemporary' Polish Poetry - 1925-1975. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1981. Mann, Klaus. The Turning Point. New York: L . B . Fischer, 1942. MiJrosz, Czesiaw. The'History•of Polish Literature. Berkeley: University of Cal i fornia Press, 1983. 91 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Visions" from" San'Francisco'Bay. Translated by Richard Lourle. New York: Farrar, Strauss, Giroux, 1982. Native" Realm. - ' A " Search "for" Self-def init ion. Translated by Catherine S. Leach. Garden City: Doubleday and Company, Inc. , 1968. • The Witness 'of •'Poetry. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1983. Schwarz, Egon and Matthias Wegner, eds. Verbannung.Aufzeichnungen deutscher'Schriftste l ler' im'Exi l . Hamburg: Christian Wegner Verlag, 1964. Serke, Jurgen. Frauen"schreiben. Frankfurt/Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1982. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Die"verbrannten Dlchter. Welnheim: Beltz Verlag, 1977. Spalek, John M. "Literature In Exi le: The Comparative Approach" in Deutsches" Exildrama~"and""Exiltheater. eds. Wolfgang E l f e , James Harding, and Gunther Hoist. Bern: Peter Lang, 1977. Strelka, Joseph P. E x i l l i t e r a t u r . Bern: Peter Lang, 1983. Strelka, Joseph B . , Robert B e l l , and Eugene Dobson. Protest ' - " Form" - Tradition;~"Essays' on" German'Exile"Llterature. Alabama: University of Albama Press, 1979. Terlecki , Tymon, ed. Literatura " polska" na" obczyz*nie- 1940-1960. London: B. Swiderski, 1964. 92 APPENDIX BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION HILDE DOMIN Hilde Domin was born in 1912 in Cologne to a well-established Jewish family. Hilde Domin's family was, l ike a large number of German-Jewish families, an assimilated one, which was deeply involved in and greatly contributed to German culture, society and language. After completing her "Abitur" in 1929, she studied law, national economics and sociology. In 1932, unsettled by the p o l i t i c a l events and the rise of Nazism in Germany, Domin and her future husband left to study in Italy . Though in the beginning i t was not clear to her that she would not return to Germany for a long time to come, she quickly perceived that her stay had turned into an exile situation as Hit ler and Mussolini were on increasingly friendly terms. Italy could not become her new country of settlement. After obtaining her doctorate in Italy, she moved to England in February 1939 and lived there unt i l June 1940. (In both Italy and England she worked as a language teacher and translator). Her f ina l destination in exile was the Dominican Republic where she remained unt i l her return to Germany in 1954. Domin f i r s t started to write poetry in 1951 while in exi le . Between 1951 and 1953, she wrote many poems, very few of which were published. Her f i r s t volume entitled Nur'eine'Rose'als Stfltze was published in 1959, and since then she has published four more books of poetry and several books of prose and c r i t i c a l writings. WACLAW IWANIUK Waclaw Iwaniuk was born in Poland in 1915. While he was studying economics, he became active as a poet, and was associated with a "middle-ground poetic group" called the Lublin group.^ According to Folejewski in his foreword to Dark' Times, Iwaniuk was not yet a matured poet at the start of the war, although he had already published his f i r s t poems in 1934. These poems, considered rather avant-garde, were characterized by an "economy of words and discretion of l y r i c a l emotions xZbigniew Folejewski, foreword. Dark 'Times;'  Waclaw'Iwaniuk, trans. Jagna Boraks and Others, ed. (Toronto: Hounslow Press, 1979) 1. Selected ' Poems of Zbigniew Folejewski 93 sometimes bordering on s e l f - m o c k e r y . H i s f i r s t volume of poetry entit led Petnla"czerwca was published in 1936, his second volume Dzien'  apokaliptyczny in 1938. During the war Iwaniuk served as a soldier - an experience which had a decisive influence on the themes of his poetry. Accordingly, his poetry became more somber. After the war, Iwaniuk found himself in Canada and settled in Toronto. He was obliged to face a new real i ty in a new country, and this is what a large part of his subsequent poetry is about. In Canada, he became actively involved in the cultural scene. His poetry continued developing, he wrote various l i t erary essays, notes and translations of English, Canadian and modern American writers and has gradually "grown into an active force in the stream of the Canadian multicultural a r t " . 3 Although most of his poetry is written in Polish, i n 1981 he also published a volume of poems written in English entitled Evenings on Lake Ontario. •Folejewski 2. 'Folejewski 5. 


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