What We Are Reading Today: Dear Ms. Schubert by Ewa Lipska

Ewa Lipska is one of Europe’s most compelling and important poets, but relatively little of her recent work has been translated into English. A Polish-English bilingual edition, Dear Ms. Schubert is the first complete collection of her remarkable poetic postcards addressed to “Ms. Schubert,” a mysterious contemporary European everywoman.

Written by a certain Mr. Schmetterling (“Mr. Butterfly”), these brief, intimate poems are by turns philosophical, political, and playfully erotic. Combining subversive wit and surrealist imagery, they slowly reveal the contours of a shared secret life played out against a turbulent historical backdrop—a relationship that strikes a precarious balance between deep cultural skepticism and authentic love.

Featuring the original Polish text and the English translation on facing pages, Dear Ms. Schubert is a highly original and appealing book from a poet who richly deserves a wide English-language readership.


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