Discovering the universe of Justyna Paluch

This post is also available in: polski (Polish)

evening hysteria

one white moth is a symbol
that life is more important than fear
discipline hurts the child
it is bad deadly fun

life is usually like a cliche
each moment and risk of moment
protect the moth and the white hour
where you would find nothing or everything

I run with this poem at 6 in the morning. The dawn is not so dark anymore. On bus 409, I sit down in my usual seat and open “A Thousand Genious Galaxies” by Justyna Paluch.

How good it is to have a poet as a friend whose book arrives at the right time. When you just need someone to remind you that life is a constant movement and that’s what’s valuable about it. Although the poet does not give laurels to life at all. On the contrary, her verses are dominated by naturalism, the floor stinks, and the letters sometimes puke. However, if even half of someone believes in me, I will not despair – she sums up in the last poem in the book: “a thousand genius galaxies”.

Marta explains to me what a galaxy is. On the first available sheet, she draws two spirals with little dots on them. Then she makes suns and a black hole somewhere further. She tells me that planets can have not only a few suns but also many moons.

So now I got it why there are six moons on the cover of Justa’s book, or maybe there is just one, in different phases. The beautiful berry blue background is vibrant with turquoise and blue as if a volcano erupting or the sea was foaming.

The poet’s poems written over the course of 16 years resemble various solar systems around which numerous objects circulate: buses, soda water, river Oder, giraffes, wrinkles, Madrid, New York, Kalambur, curtains, greasy stains, fragments of a meadow, pavements, leather. Gravity makes them attract each other.

Polish poet Justyna Paluch constructs poetry from everything that happens around her. There is also an echo of the past and there is a war going on.

She endlessly comes up with ideas for poetry workshops, and enlarges words to the size of a face. In her everyday life and in the Hurtownia Poetry Group, she constantly motivates others to write.

Therefore, I decide to share her poems in my ordinary life. And suddenly they sparkle like stars. In the workers’ canteen, in text messages, at the bus stop, in the windy outskirts of Parkmore, right next to the factory. Who would have thought?

Justine’s universe goes through Galway in Ireland. I still don’t know what exactly it is, but I’m glad it’s around. It highlights my difficult feelings and whispers:


nothing to fear here
I believe in
stones seventy years old
in the eyes
the hands and feet like roots
the day goes by slowly
selects wrinkles

a fragment of the poem: “stones growing old with the wrinkles of the wind”.

Aga, after reading the poem “big apple”, can see May in NY and feels a sunny idyllic picture, but she is also afraid of this poem because underneath consists of fire, conflagration, and catastrophe.

For Magda, the silence and wind from “a small defenseless sea” are ready moments to write what you feel.

You can find Justyna Paluch’s poetry in Polish, on her blog Bobreczki or on Youtube, where she reads other books in beautiful natural surroundings, or against the backdrop of Wrocław, where she lives.

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