In Gratitude for All the Gifts

Thank you, Professor Vendler, for all the gifts you may not even realize you have given me. Love and thanks are due to my family. To K, who watched this book come into being and inspired me, my deepest love and gratitude.

In Gratitude for All the Gifts

In Gratitude for All the Gifts explores the literary and cultural links between the bestselling, Nobel Prize-winning Northern Irish poet Seamus Heaney and the preeminent Eastern European poets of the twentieth century, including fellow Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz and Zbigniew Herbert. Magdalena Kay opens new ground in comparative literary studies with her close analysis of Heaney's poetic work from the perspective of the English-speaking West's attraction, and especially Heane''s own attraction, to Eastern European poetry. While placing Milosz and Herbert in their cultural contexts and keeping an eye on the poems in their original Polish, this innovative and energetic study focuses on how Heaney encountered their work in translation. In Gratitude for All the Gifts thus allows us to see what happens when poetic forms, histories, and themes travel between countries and encourages us to understand cultural crossing not just thematically, but also in terms of form, voice, and aesthetic intent.

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