Uładzimier Arłoŭ, Belarus. transl. Adam Pomorski
2010: Uładzimier Arłoŭ
Arlov’s poetry is a record of experiences, impressions of reading and travel, and reflections of a contemporary man. The white poem imposes a private tone of expression, which paradoxical humor and slightly ironic distance protect from excessive discursiveness. The lyrical subject speaks without posturing, in an ordinary voice, without shouting, defending the sovereignty of his feelings for a woman, his attachment to a childhood memory of past times, places, and even superstitions – and when, in the name of those principles, he must defend the collective dignity, freedom, and identity of his country and nation. He speaks here as a free man, separate but not parochial, and he offers this perspective to his native Belarus. What makes Arlov stronger is not what overcomes him, but his own privacy – it is what endures and survives in a civilized, and therefore humane, world.
A selection of poems
One of the most popular Belarusian poets, prose-writers and essayists, translated into nearly 20 languages. Born in 1953 in Polotsk, Arlou studied History in Minsk. He worked as a teacher and a journalist. He published over 20 books in prose and a few volumes of poetry. Since 1989, he has been a member of board of the Belarusian PenClub. Arlou is also a board member of the independent Belarusian Writers’ Society. In 1996, he was dismissed from his post in a publishing house by Lukashenka’s authorities for “publishing historical literature and other works of a doubtful quality”. Arlou actively supported democratic candidates during presidential elections in Belarus. In 2007, his works were removed from the school curriculum. Two collections of Arlou’s poetry have been published in Polish: “Рэквіем для бензапілы” (Requiem for a Chainsaw) and “Каханак яе вялікасці” (Her Majesty’s Lover).
Adam Pomorski is a literary critic and translator. He translates literature from Russian, German, English, Belarusian and Ukrainian, among others works of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Thomas Stearns Eliot, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Reiner Maria Rilke. He started his career in the 1970s, translating Russian literature. He has won several awards, including the Polish Translators Society Award, PEN Club Award and the Ministry of Culture Award.