Try to Praise a Mutilated World by Adam Zagajewski

Topics: World War II, World War I, Global conflicts Pages: 5 (1957 words) Published: November 25, 2008
In the Poem "Try to Praise the Mutilated World" by Adam Zagajewski, the point that the speaker is trying to get across is that one must learn to accept or praise the faults of the world, to see the beauty to help heal the mutilated world. We as a society must remember the good things when times begin to get arduous. Zagajewski uses repetition with the phrase "Praise the Mutilated World," and each time the phrase is written, it means something completely different because of the tone that is being used and the urgency that is being asked to praise the mutilated world. The tone changes throughout each stanza, it changes from an asking tone, to a demanding tone, to a parental tone then a pleading tone to help the speaker project his feelings to the reader that even through the darkness there is light. Zagajewski also uses imagery to help the reader be one with the essay, by allowing one to put themselves in this poem. Zagajewski is trying to remind the readers to see past the bad, to praise the good when things have gone wrong.

associate Adam Zagajewski's poem "Try to Praise the Mutilated World" with September 11th. Although it was not written in memoriam to the victims of this tragedy (Twin Towers), it did appear in The New Yorker on September 26, 2001. For many, these were the first healing words we were able to digest. Zagajewski is quoted as saying, "The poem reflects a philosophical conviction more than an event."( Tennant) When asked what particular event sparked the creation of this poem he said "For me, it's the way I have always seen the world. When I was growing up I saw a lot of ruins in postwar Poland. This is my landscape. Somehow it stayed with me, this feeling that the world is wounded or mutilated." (Tennant) The truth of the world is reflected back to us in poetry and faith. Zagajewski has called upon us to pay attention to beauty and to wounds and joy.

The poem "Try to Praise the Mutilated World" has four stanzas that begin with these lines: "Try to praise the mutilated world"(1), "You must praise the mutilated world"(6), "You should praise the mutilated world"(12) and "Praise the mutilated world"(18). This poem consists of good and bad memories, such as "Remember June's long days, and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew"(2-3) which is taken to be a pleasant memory, a memory one would love to enjoy. "You've seen the refugees heading nowhere, you've heard the executioners sing joyfully". (10-11) This line is a negative line. Each section has a different number of lines containing positive memories and negative memories. The word choice preceding "mutilated world" corresponds to the number of good and bad things mentioned in the poem-- the section that says "You must praise the mutilated world"(6) contains two good lines and three bad lines, meaning that when more things go wrong than right, to stay sane you must remember all the positive. These words describe actions that seek to mend that which has been destroyed.

The speaker uses repetition of the phrase "praise the mutilated world" to make his point that the reader must admire the world, because it is wounded. For example, there is war, poverty, famine, destruction of homes and countries, families are being torn apart. All these hurtful, destructive events plague and wound our world. With each phrase it asks the reader, and society to praise the mutilated world, but each time is it written, it has a different tone. In the first stanza the narrator speaks "Try to praise the mutilated world." Zagajewski is asking the reader to praise this wounded world. The speaker reminds the reader of the wonderful things the earth has to offer. "Remember June's long days, and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew." (2-3) People typically enjoy these life's simplicities, but often take for granted. Zagajewski is reminding us of the simple yet desirable things in life. The speaker then describes the less appealing, and sense of abandonment , to make the...

Cited: ustin, Ben S.. "AN INTRODUCTION TO THE HOLOCAUST ." The Holocaust. Middle Tennessee State University Holocaust Studies Committee. 18 Nov 2008 .
"Suicide in the U.S.: Statistics and Prevention." National Institutes of Health. June 26, 2008. National Institute for Mental Health. 18 Nov 2008 .
Tennant, Agnieszka. ""Try to Praise the Mutilated World": a conversation with poet Adam Zagajewski. ." Access my Library. 01-SEP-02. Christianity Today, Inc. . 4 Nov 2008 .
Zagajewski, Adam. "Try to Praise the Mutilated World" Literature, Reading, Reacting, Writing. 6th Ed. Kirszner & Mandell Boston Ma, The Thomas and Wadsworth Corp. 2007 pg. 869
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