Alissa Valles is the author of the poetry books Orphan Fire and Anastylosis and editor and co-translator of Zbigniew Herbert’s Collected Poems and Collected Prose. Our Life Grows: Poems of Ryszard Krynicki is forthcoming from NYRB Poets in 2017.
Reading Polish poet Miron Białoszewski’s account of the Warsaw Uprising—the long two months in 1944 when Hitler’s forces, retreating, executed their orders to leave nothing of the city standing—feels as though you are sitting in a building that is being . . .