Friday, April 25, 2003

The Pope's new poems

Poland’s Church-owned St Stanislaw publishing house had hoped to release Roman Triptych as a world exclusive at the Pope’s former see of Krakow, and was disappointed when told it would be launched simultaneously by Biblioteca Editrice Vaticana in Rome. The English translation, now available from the Catholic Truth Society with an introduction by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, is disappointingly low-key, and will colour the work’s reception by missing the resonance and deeper sense of much of the Pope’s Polish-language original. However banal, it nevertheless conveys his ideas and images, and will have to suffice for English-language readers.