“Nowa Huta” by Jehanne Dubrow

Jehanne Dubrow


“New Steelworks,” the Socialist
Realist city developed in the 1950s
outside Kraków, Poland

In the model city, nothing seems to work, not the winch, the derrick, the coaldust men, not the foreman shouting Get up, boys, go work.

Our philosophy was made to work—chug chug the sleek machine, the chiseled men of the model city. Everything seemed to work

at first. Remember how the children worked at doing sums? The wives at pleasing men? The foreman shouting Get up, boys, go work?

Even the sun was busy with its work of shining gold on all the marble men. Now in the model city, nothing seems to work.

The brick is crumbling, and the stonework turns to powder under hand. The men ignore the foreman who’s shouting work,

you cogwheels, work. Goddamn this heavy work we bang our heads against. Goddamn the men, the model city, where nothing comes of work. To hell the foreman shouting workworkwork.

from Rattle #34, Winter 2010

__________”>Rattle #34, Winter 2010

JEHANNE DUBROW: “‘Nowa Huta’ is from my manuscript-in-progress, Red Army Red, a collection that both celebrates and critiques Soviet kitsch. The poem is inspired by Andrzej Wajda’s famous Communist-era film Man of Marble.”

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