Though best kwn as poets, Zbigniew Herbert (1924-98), Joseph Brodsky (1940-96), and Adam Zagajewski (b. 1945) also wrote some of the most original prose of this century. It is this prose - remarkable for its cross-cultural complexity and interdisciplinary richness - that concerns Bozena Shallcross in Through the Poet's Eye . The travels undertaken by these East European poets, who journeyed to the West under different circumstances, give Shallcross her point of departure as she explores the connections between the sensory experience of travel and the perception of the visual arts found in their writings. As Zagajewski, Herbert, and Brodsky blend observations of their surroundings with their impressions of the culture's art and architecture, their travels become 'epiphanic journeys,' dynamic and intensive moments of insight produced by the interdependence of movement and works of art.
Bozena Shallcross is an associate professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Polish Literature Graduate Advisor for Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Chicago.