Zbigniew Herbert was one of the great 20th-century Polish poets. Like all of the great poets, no matter what country, no matter what time, he told us the essential lessons of poetry. First, he taught us that poetry matters. Second, he taught us that we are brothers and sisters, humbled by the same confusions, lifted by the same dreams. He died in 1998, and Poland declared 2008 to be The Year of Zbigniew Herbert.

I join with a number of Polish and Polish-American poets to celebrate Herbert and what he gave each of us.

— John Zbigniew Guzlowski, Poetry Editor
     [John's blog is Lightning and Ashes.]

Mr. Cogito's SoulA ballad that we do not perishI Would Like to Describe

18 Herbert translations by Oriana Ivy

12 poets write about Zbigniew Herbert