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90th anniversary tributes to poet Zbigniew Herbert

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 29.10.2014 15:45
Writers and academics are taking part in a 3-day conference in tribute to the late poet Zbignew Herbert, who was born 90 years ago on 29 October 1924.

Herbert in 1972. Photo: Michal Kapitaniak/National Library

Guests at the conference organised by the National Library include poets Adam Zagajewski and Tomas Venclova (Lithuania) and British historian Timothy Garton Ash.

“For me, Zbigniew Herbert is without doubt the most important Polish poet,” Ash told Polish Radio.

“And not just for me, also for many other foreigners.”

The British academic, who covered the Solidarity movement in Poland while a young journalist, fondly recalled his personal encounters with the poet.

Herbert, a veteran of the WWII Polish underground Home Army (AK), was one of the most committed anti-communist writers.

“He was charming and fascinating,” Ash noted.

“The qualities that we find in his poetry were also a part of his character.

“Herbert without irony is like England without rain,” he added.

Zbigniew Herbert died in July 1998, and was buried at Warsaw's Powazki Cemetery. (nh)

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