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Review: Nothing More, by Krystyna Miłobędzka

[...] (Milobedzka's) poetry has exerted a profound influence on those who began writing in the 1980's or those starting out even now. When she talks of her writing as 'jottings' this is not false modesty. Rather it is an indicator of her engagement with the challenge of poetry itself which 'tries to say hat which cannot be said' and so needs to be 'ruthless, even cruel towards language.' In a selection, made by Elzbieta Wojcik-Leese, of poems by Milobedzka that span a life time's career, syntax often confuses, phrases are broken up, short or small words deliberately, carefully chosen - a kind of shortland, 'jottings'.
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Milbedzka's use of diminutives, her lyricism coupled with everyday diction disarm even as she forensically examines the breakdown of the self's boundaries and its connection to others. Unpretentiously, unceremoniously the language reflects the fracturing of a woman's - and every person's - sense of self. For all the 'difficulty' of her poems they are full of humanity.
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The disconcerting shifts of syntax in spare poems of short, even one-line, stanzas create a delicate balance between 'me' and 'you' - an 'in-between/questioning'.
[...]
Milobedzka's adventure is a paring down, the shedding of temporary identities to whatever- if anything - remains. 'I lose verbs quickest, nouns, things remain'. Many poems are untitled and her later poems visually enact the very act of vanishing.
[...]