Wojciech Bruszewski

Computer installation
(dot matrix printer, paper, computer,
monitor, speakers, book), 1992

	     Yk dog fudc... 

	Yk dog fudc ana iffulci faz re ztyw,
	Pa dygl pa af tnap pnyqacr iz ygofabe.
	Ga yzmopy apoles gaqnynz pobomaj vfuabe,
	Tedu amquci obe e dyjneb e ud urmutyw.

		Ejmujcu ebgygeb pa boz u eqod dcukeva,
		Hwy tnev iryrhac adh hpidzoh myzihih.
		Czipciz cwamsyp tfawo ij fectocq jhujhih,
		Akelco u oqbotin tpe o syhut i eeva.

	Gib vzacom atfyhva edo qevnifw yvhesvo,
	Wme dvyv gly inijatv fiqiqfo didysvo,
	Ykcagho jasu ytke i abap aga y vuhr.

		Min ino a uti tnylegh qjywgu sja kukauhr,
		Fum pohc iqvarva iqikby yncy gazwoh,
		Ze nanv mqibumo iryfuma ijc edg obhawoh.

	[18 Marca 1992]    [21:46]

      to The Phraseological Dictionary

      The idea of compiling The Phraseological Dictionary emerged one yearafter the publication of The Sonnets. These 365 days are a completely fortuitous number. I emphasise this point in order to avoid suspicions that I am trying to "explicate" the poems. If it had been so, the year when the six volumes of the Sonnets existed without the Dictionary, would have been a meaningless year for their reader.

      The Phraseological Dictionary does not cover all the Sonnets. It refers directly only to Volume One. In other words, it is the Dictionary of the Language of Volume One. Producing the Dictionary does not enrich Volume One, nor does it impoverish other Volumes, since the Sonnets exist as entities of Absolute Poetry.

      The Dictionary is an INDEPENDENT work of poetry. As in the case of any dictionary, the independence of this one is only relative. The fact that the reader possesses Volume One of The Sonnets does not make the Dictionary more dependent, than if it referred to anything existing out of the reader's reach. This is the kind of "dependence" that is exactly the same as the dependence of Adam Mickiewicz's "Crimean Sonnets" upon Crimea itself. The fact of not knowing Crimea does not prevent the reader from enjoying "The Crimean Sonnets"; but there is nothing that could stop the reader from visiting Crimea in order to read "The Crimean Sonnets" there.

      Absolute Poetry is the territory of my Sonnets. Of all conceivable objects, the poetic ones have the highest degree of abstraction. Hence one can speak about the independence of The Phraseological Dictionary and risk only a minor mistake.

      This comment about the INDEPENDENCE of the Dictionary was necessary, because of the unknown future fate of the book. And yet it is not words themselves that constitute the sense of Poetry, but relations between words. Hence while reading the Dictionary, it helps to have an opportunity to consult Volume One of The Sonnets, or vice versa, while reading The Sonnets - to have the Dictionary at hand. In the latter case, it is good to know that EACH word of Volume One of the Sonnets is included in the Dictionary, but not all words begin its entries, which are arranged in alphabetical order. It is obvious that some words taken out of the context lose their meaning and that some groups of words may lie beyond the author's interest.

      For example: We are looking for a word DOG, and yet we cannot find it in the Dictionary as an independent concept. There are only two phrases of two different meanings, which start with the word DOG:

   dog fudc ana          and          dog uda

      If it was the sonnet Yk dog fudc... (page 5, vol.1) that impelled the reader to look for the word DOG, then the phrase dog fudc ana is the right choice, but does not offer complete explanation:

   dog fudc ana        ... means .... 
   				flatterers, toadies

      It is necessary to check one of the 20 phrases that start with the word YK:

   yk dog fudc ... is translated as ...  
				if someone throws

      In order to understand better the impact the word DOG has on other neighbouring words, it is advisable to check in the Dictionary the entry which starts with FUDC; it turns out however that there is no such entry. Actually, the word FUDC does not appear anywhere else, it does not crop up in any other different context. Thus DOG FUDC constitutes a strong semantic unit, irrespective of the strong deviations which the words YK and ANA introduce into the meaning of this structure.

      When we look for ANA in the Dictionary, we can find three phrases beginning with this word:

 ana ak
    ana i vude
    ana iffulci

      We choose, of course, the last phrase, ana iffulci, because (let me repeat it here), we analyse the poem: Yk dog fudc ana iffulci faz re ztyw, ....

And so     ana iffulci  
... can be understoood as ...  
				she was doing it unawares

when in turn we look for IFFULCI we find:
iffulci faz ... which means ...  
				hanging thus at
instead of FAZ we find:
    faz re ... which can be translated as ... 
				with white beautiful
    faz re ztyw ... which is in English ... 
				the firemen grabbed
    and so on.

      The example taken from the first sonnet Yk dog fudc... demonstrates that the word DOG, abstract and possibly devoid of any meaning, is entangled in a complicated process of semantic fluctuation. I could add that one should not stick to these interpretations slavishly. This is how I (!) understand the Language of Volume One; in this way, by producing 29,319 entries, I drag Absolute Poetry down to earth. It is worth pointing out that in 359 Sonnets of Volume One, the word DOG appears only five times:

    dog uda
    qi zom dog
    uwipuvt dog
    zom dog ceniku

    apart from the two following phrases: 
    yk dog fudc   and   dog fudc ana

      DOG as a three-letter word may recur with low frequency. The frequency with which the same word recurs in The Sonnets is inversely proportional to its length. Four-letter words reappear only sporadically, and five-letter words, or longer ones, appear practically only once. The phenomenon is a unique feature of the Language of Volume One, absolutely unheard of in natural languages.

      Poetry which we may call here NORMAL is actually a combination of a small number of words. Absolute Poetry juggles with a vocabulary of an astonishing range.

      In contrast to the Sonnets, The Phraseological Dictionary is only a drop in an ocean of meanings. The right side of the Dictionary will always remain a pale echo of the left side. What is more, the right side of the dictionary will always be written in some natural language - Polish in this case. Versions in different languages will be enveloped in an additional haze of meanings, introduced by the flexibility of the translator's skill.

      Therefore I have to confront a serious dilemma. Should I plunge the reader into "deep waters," irrespective of the consequences, or should I throw him a "life belt," which may be the Phraseological Dictionary?

Wojciech Bruszewski Skoki, April 1993

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