Ocalony – Saved

Tadeusz Różewicz

Translated from the Polish by Anna Maria Nowak


I am 24 years old

I was saved

From the path to the slaughter


These are names that are empty and unequivocal

A human and an animal

An enemy and a friend

Darkness and light


A human can be killed like an animal

I saw:

Wagons of chopped humans

Who will not be redeemed


Terms are only words

Virtue and vice

Truth and a lie

Beauty and ugliness

Bravery and cowardice


The same is the weight of the virtue and the vice

I saw:

A human that was at once

Vicious and virtuous


I am looking for a teacher and a master

Let him return to me the seeing, the hearing, the speech

Let him once again name things and concepts

Let him separate the light and the darkness


I am 24 years old

I was saved

From the path to the slaughter



Tadeusz Różewicz (9 October 1921 – 24 April 2014) was a distinguished Polish poet, dramatist and writer. He has referred to himself as an “anti-poet”, owing to the absence of metaphor in his poetry. His works have been translated into more than forty languages. English-language translations of his books have been finalists for the Popescu Prize (UK), the National Book Critics Award (USA) and the Griffin Prize (Canada). In 2007 he was awarded the European Prize for Literature.


Anna Maria Nowak is a student in the English Department at Bar-Ilan University. She was born in 1994 in Bonn, Germany, grew up in Moscow and Vilnius and finished high school in Toruń, Poland. Laureate of the National Olympiad of Literature and Polish Language as well as the National Festival of Youth Theatre in Poland, she is currently balancing between three languages and cultures, Polish, English and Hebrew.



Return to Table of Contents