World Failure by Ewa Lipska | Book Reviews | Poetry
World Failure

By Anna Banasiak

Being under the magnifying glass

World Failure is both intriguing and ambigous volume of poetry. It is the art of distance and thought-provoking work that draws the readers in.The word in this poetry is treated with surgical precision in the tone of metaphysics and cognitive realism.Carefull reading becomes a process where new meanings and interpretations appear. The lyrical subject speaks in a hushed voice about important events. The very beginning of the poem Rebus foreshadows an interesting play of meanings:

The riddle

wasn’t limited

to the full Moon

Lipska’s poetry in a high tone,full of references to history and music,is free from pathos and snobbery.The poet leans into a single existence or a phenomenon,wathes them under a philosphical magnyfying glass and interprets from many points of view.In this respect,it reminds metaphysical poetry of Lars Gusstafson who observing specific ordinary events,objects or scenes builds a kind of deep philosophy of being.

Surprising phrases and juxtapostion of words draw the reader into a new attept to look at the world. It can culminate in a poem:

They Left. They Didn’t Come Back

They left. They didn’t come back.

Tangerines on the table.

The season of life is over.


The paintings they left behind

grow on the wall.


In World Failure the themes of love,death,passing and pain are touched upon from a new perspective.



acute preventive measure

against death.

It is eminently intellectual poetry requiring from the reader knowledge not only in the field of literaturę,but also painting,music,history.The poem A Few moments on music is delightful here beginning with the „harmony of the spheres” and ending mysteriously:



is not


The role of poetry and poets „sentenced to poems” is presented in an interesting way.

Homeless Poem

The homeless poem wanders

around the dark matter of paper.

Nobody’s. The author left it

to its fate. An orphan of words.



poems are like abandoned dogs

barking for poetry.


Irony, humour,distance to oneself and the world shine through this poetry woven from a colourful fabric. And although it is the art. of cultural criticism you can feel the longing for the personal truth of existence and being „here and now” among wars and the returning memory of galaxies.

Working Memory

I won’t be your role model.


We sit between wars

slicing the cheese of the moon

on a black plate.


I’m made of fears

and you need confidence.

I hold doubt and regret at gunpoint

and you’re aiming at delight and courage.


A box of chocolates on the table.

I’m treating them to planets.

Celestial bodies in chocolate […]

World Failure

I can with full responsibility recommend a new poetry book by an outstanding poetess Ewa Lipska who in each poem gives us food for thought and reinterpretation of phenomena of nature and culture that are close to us leaving creative doubts.

(c) Anna Banasiak

Permission has been granted for the reproduced poems.

Order your copy online here.

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