Friday, June 18, 2010

Father's Day

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My father didn't teach me to fish or play ball or paint a fence or drive a car. He couldn't do any of those things. He was an orphan who worked on his aunt's farm in Poland until the Nazis came and took him to a concentration camp. When he got to America after the war, he was too busy working to do much of anything else. You don't learn a lot beyond the basics when you lead that kind of life.

But he did teach me somethings: to care for my family, work hard, and love life.

Happy Father's Day, Dad.


To read more about my dad, click on the following poems from my book Lightning and Ashes:

Why My Mother Stayed with My Father

What My Father Believed

Looking for Work in America


Michael Meyerhofer said...

Simple, heartfelt, and profound. Thanks for this!!

John Guzlowski said...

My friend Sue Knight wanted to post a comment.

Thanks John for that lovely tribute to your father. Once again I tried to post a comment on your blog and wasn't able to do it.

I wanted to send you this beautiful little poem that i found very helpful. It applies to my father (and my mother) and surely applies to yours.

Late Fragment
by Raymond Carver

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

all the best Sue

oriana said...

I really love "What My Father Brought with Him." Terrific poem. Oriana

Laffinbuda said...

Thank you for posting this tribute to your dad. My relationship with my father was basically the same.

My parents were also Polish forced laborers who migrated to the US in 1950 - so I can relate to your blog on so many levels. I'm actually waiting for ITS to hopefully send me some information on my parents, (I suspect Buchenwald, but can't be sure) since they never spoke about where they were or what happened.

John Guzlowski said...

Laffinbuda, please let me know what you find out about your parents.

Isagani R. Cruz said...

This is not about this post, but I reposted one of your poems without your prior permission. I hope you don't mind.

Anonymous said...

I've browsed through your blog and read Ashes & Lightning, and must confess to having developed a good amount of goose bumps. I spent a good time trying to find your mailing address, John, as I actually wanted to send you a letter of thanks. I feel like I have found something missing in my life for so long...and it explains so much. Thank-you.

John, you have also touched my own Muse with your writing. I have begun to write all the little idiosyncrasies I had growing up with Polish-Christian-born parents. They too survived WWII Poland, particularly my father, when the Nazis invaded.

Keep up the great job!


P.S. I have to ask...Is there any chance you are looking to get together with other writers to form an extended body of poems (as a book) on the Polish Christian experience, during/ after WWII?

John Guzlowski said...

Luc, thanks for the kind words. If you want to get in touch with me, my email is jzguzlowski (at)
Substitute @ for (at). I'm interested in your idea of gathering with other writers on the Polish Christian experience of WWII.