This title is a Poetry Book Society recommended translation. Cyprian Norwid, born in 1821 near Warsaw, is one of the most innovative and idiosyncratic figures in Polish literature. His unique poetry is now recognized as among Poland's finest. Largely self-taught, he left Poland at the age of 21, moving widely around Europe - befriended by Chopin among others - before travelling to America. Persistently dogged by financial crises, he was forced to return to Paris in 1854. There he spent the rest of his life, dying in a hostel for Polish insurrection veterans in Ivry in 1883. Norwid's work is introduced by Bogdan Czaykowski, the eminent Polish poet, scholar and critic, who died in Vancouver in 2007. This title contains extra poems and a new preface by Adam Czerniawski.