Skip to main content
Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Mysticism for Beginners

Mysticism for Beginners


Adam Zagajewski; Translated by Clare Cavanagh

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


Trade Paperback

Powerful New work by a modern master.

You must listen, listen, listen.
Tired springs breathe under water.
At four in the morningthe last, lonely bolt of lightning
scribbles something quickly in the sky.
It says "No." Or "Never.
"Or "Take courage, the fire's not dead."
-from "The Last Storm"

Mysticism for Beginners is the third and most beautiful of Adam Zagajewski's collections to appear in English. The poems are about nature, history, the life of cities, the transformations of art, the spiritual essence of everyday life. Their remarkable staying power derives from the gentle meditative authority of Zagajewski's voice, here expertly rered into English by Clare Cavanagh. Zagajewski's committed, compassionate poems offer access to the mysteries at the heart of experience.

Praise for Mysticism for Beginners

“So how can a poet-an intelligent, serious poet-write mystical verse now? The poetry of Adam Zagajewski provides the beginning of an answer to this question.” —Adam Kirsch, The New Republic

Reviews from Goodreads

Adam Zagajewski; Translated by Clare Cavanagh

Adam Zagajewski was born in Lvov, Poland, in 1945. His previous books include Tremor (1985) and Canvas (1991), both poetry, and Two Cities (1995), a collection of essays. His latest book is Without End: New and Selected Poems.

image of Adam Zagajewskio
Jerry Bauer

Adam Zagajewski

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Latest on Facebook