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Review: Nothing More, by Krystyna Miłobędzka

In our deep and attentive reading, Miłobędzka's understanding of language proves itself so thoroughly thought-out and conditioned by a larger worldview that 'correct' linguistic solutions seem, by comparison with her 'ungrammaticalness,' artificial, inauthentic, incomplete. Her apparently incohesive language amazes us with two features, cultivated with unparalleled discipline. First is elementariness. In this poetry everything is reduced to forms as primary and simple as possible, forms that reach their destination by taking a shortcut, sometimes at the cost of a linguistic error or an oversimplification. When something has no proper name and thus requires a longer elaboration, the poet creates a neologism, even though it may strike us with its inappropriateness among 'normal' vocabulary items. (...) Frequently such solutions remind us of the linguistic behaviour of children who, trying to name the elements of the outside world or their own inner experiences, take the shortest route, treading on syntactic and grammatical rules. (...)
Miłobędzka's poetry crystallizes relationships between people into their primary equivalents: the erotic engagement and the bond between mother and child. This reduction is also a complication: the relationships are both most elementary and most complex, they demand utmost responsibility, they ask for the most difficult self-reflection. (...)
The second characteristic feature is the immediacy of expression. Here each text reveals itself in statu nascendi, seemingly uncontrolled, reporting the birth of the yet unspecified thought: a sentence broken off, a sudden mental leap, an ellipsis, a slip of the tongue. It is no longer a language that is spoken, but a language that is 'being thought.'