Pocket Apocalypse

Pocket Apocalypse
Southword Editions, 2005.
Poems by Katarzyna Borun-Jagodzinska. Translated from Polish by Gerry Murphy.

Choose Payment Option



Here is a Polish poet working well beyond the shadows of Milosz and Herbert. She searches out material in the sacred and the profane and mines both with considerable skill. A generous streak of dark wit is evident even in the least likely of places. After all, anyone who edited a magazine entitled "Temperance and Hard Work" has to have a healthy sense of the absurd. --Gerry Murphy


What the critics have said:

"Borun-Jagodzinska, ably translated with a light touch by Gerry Murphy, has followed Piotr Sommer out of the intensive lyricism and complex Imagism traditional to Polish poetry into the pared-back, post-American style." -The Irish Times


Selected Poems from Pocket Apocalypse



(for A.B.)


In catastrophes

our letters are lost,

as if the postman

could save us…


In a dark room

tenderness yellows with age –

the very letters you carried out

of the burning refinery.




Othello’s First Book


Which came first?

The bitter seed or the shadowy tree?

Bitterness can prepare the way for sweetness,

though the tart seed permeates the apple.

A green-eyed monster already awake,

a worm turning just under the skin.

Love creeps past on tiptoes

so as not to arouse the beast.





Gothic Tale


So quiet here at dawn,

no one remembers

the squinting window

in the clock face.

So quiet,

even though the clock’s

relentless hands


over-ardent lovers

and the trees creak

under the increasing weight

of the sky.

Copyright ©2005 Katarzyna Borun Jagodzinska

English translation Copyright ©2005 Gerry Murphy




Katazyna Borun-Jagodzinska


Katarzyna Borun-Jagodzinska, was born in 1956 in Warsaw, and did not, despite considerable efforts, study at the Academy of Fine Art or the History of Art Department of the University of Warsaw. Instead she attended seminars at the Lodz Film School and in 1989 was a participant of the International Writing Program of Iowa University. Her collections include Wyciszemia (Quietenings, 1997), Moly Happening (A Minor Happening, 1979), Zycie Codzienne w Panstwie Srodka (Daily Life in the Middle Kingdom, 1983) and WiecefWiersze o Zmroku (More – Poems at Twilight, 1991). Borun has worked as a messenger, small ads clerks and eventually became an editor on the monthly Temperance and Hard Work.



Gerry Murphy


Gerry Murphy was born in Cork in 1952. His poetry collections include A Small Fat Boy Walking Backwards (1985, 1992) and Rio de la Plata and All That (1993). He has also published two pamphlets – A Cartoon History of the Spanish Civil War (1991) and Dead Cat in Winthrop Street (1994). The Empty Quarter was published in 1995 followed by Extracts from a Lost Log Book of Christopher Columbus (1999) and Torso of an Ex-Girlfriend in 2002. His work has also appeared in a variety of anthologies and journals. His New and Selected was published by Dedalus in 2006. He lives in Cork City.





























2021 Competitions

Gregory O'Donoghue
Poetry Competition

Deadline: 30st November




Cork International
Short Story Festival

October 12 - 16




2021 Publications

Southword 40

Includes O'Faoláin Prize stories
& O'Donoghue Prize poems




Felicity Sheehy

Fool for Poetry Winner




Vicky Morris

Fool for Poetry Winner




Queer Love

Fiction anthology




YouTube Videos





O'Faoláin Short Story
Prize Reading Playlist




O'Donoghue Poetry
Prize Reading Playlist




How to Write Titles








Cork Events




Essays & Blogs




Munster Literature Centre
is a constituent member of



Frank O'Connor House, 84 Douglas Street, Cork, Ireland.

Tel. (353) 021 4312955, Email: info@munsterlit.ie

Irish Registered Charity No.12374