The article examines the relationship between the lyrics and prose of Mieczysław Romanowski, the most talented poet of the last generation of the Romantics, and the work of other contributors of the weekly magazine Dziennik Literacki, published in Lwów between 1852 and 1870. Although their concerns and poetics have a lot in common, the high tone of Romanowski’s patriotic art is distinctly his own. In this article the analysis of his poetry is complemented by an examination of his essays and other writings which contain his views on contemporary social issues.
This article focuses on paralogical figures (amphibology, equivocation, hypallage and syllepsis) in the poems of Jan Zych. Paralogicisms are phrases in which the combination of logical and syntactical form produces an irresolvable semantic conundrum. The article is divided into three parts, each dealing with one aspect of Zych’s handling of the opposition of distance and proximity: air metaphors expressive of the channel of poetic speech; communication by post (letters); and images of the labyrinth. The paralogical figures are discussed in terms of their function as textual building-blocks, a mark of the author’s subjectivity, and an invitation for performative reading. In this way, Zych’s poems, in particular Labirynty (The Labyrinths) are reconstituted as literary performances, analogous to the labyrinthine prose of J. L. Borges and Octavio Paz.
This article takes as its starting point the Greek term μεταξύ, a preposition meaning ‘between’, first turned into a noun in Plato’s Symposium, and in that substantivized form adapted for their own ends by a number of 20th-century philosophers, most notably by Simone Weil. In her Gravity and Grace (French: La Pesanteur et la grâce) she defines le metaxu as in-betweenness, a social and metaphysical category which embraces all that connects and divides (as, for example, a wall that both separates two prisoners and can be used by them to tap messages). In this article Weil’s concept of metaxu is applied to the language and then to various readings of two of Wisława Szymborska’s poems, ‘Funeral’ and ‘Elegiac Calculation’. Pragmalinguistics and semantics, too, play a role in the interpretation of these poems.
This article examines the occasional verse published by the daily Czas [Time] in 1864–1879, i.e. over a decade and a half after the suppression of the January Rising. These texts, which feature both solemn occasions and local ephemera, present us with a unique chronicle of life of Cracow and its environs. In addition to listing all the relevant texts, the article attempts to identify their authors, i.e. unlock their initials or pseudonyms, to outline the conventions and genological peculiarities of that verse, and to gauge the attitudes of the Cracovians towards the question of Poland’s independence, Romanticism, patriotism as well as some well-known authority figures.
This article addresses the issue of the interpretation of proper names in poetry. The state of research on the functions of proper names in literature is well described, but it is possible to note the lack of a fixed interpretation strategy in poetry which means that, despite little interest in poetry, its researchers often try to propose their own methods of analysis. The authors of the article, who tackle onyms in the poetry of Bruno Jasieński, present their own methodological approach to the matter, based on B. Waldenfels’ concept of the “phenomenology of the alien”.
Without question Tadeusz Nowak reached the height of his poetic powers in a series of poems he called psalms (Psalms for Home Use, 1959; Psalms, 1971; and New Psalms, 1978). Although they form a distinctive group with common characteristics, it is hard to see what could possibly connect them with the lofty verses of the Book of Psalms. Having said that it can be argued that they belong to a Polish tradition of psalms developed by Kochanowski, Kochowski and Krasiński. The Polish psalms come in two varieties, those with sweeping visions of national history and identity, and the homely, or more personal, in focus and tone. Nowak rarely mentions the grand themes, yet when he does so his utterances are pregnant with meaning (though with no touch of the messianic fervour typical of the Polish psalms). His Psalms for Home Use are decidedly ‘homely’ in the sense of being personal and private (even autobiographical), and because they exhibit a mind of the common people from the country. If there is any connection between Nowak’s Psalms and their Biblical prototype it is maintained not so much by the occasional literary allusion as by the casting of the characters in the poems in the role of modern psalmists. Like King David, they know they are sinners, and that knowledge imparts to their ‘psalms’ the candidness of a cry from the depth.
This article examines two collections of manuscripts (previously unanalyzed) with poems which make up Leopold Staff’s debut volume The Dreams of Power. The poet offered them as a gift to Maryla Wolska who deposited them in the Michał Pawlikowski Archives at Medyka. With access to the fi rst, nearly complete, collection we can get an insight into the process of selecting poems for the version that was to go to print (1899–1901). As most of the poems are dated, we are able to establish their sequence and reconstruct the changing concept of their selection. Of special value are twelve poems which had been dropped in the process, and for most part remained unpublished. Each of them is presented briefl y in the article. Apart from making this discovery, the article demonstrates that Leopold Staff’s debut volume as we know it had an earlier version with a set of poems, different from the one that was earmarked for publication under that title.
Autor uważa, że opisując poezję Leconte de Lisle’a Henryk Elzenberg odkrył swą własną wrażliwość poetycką. W twórczości Elzenberga wyobraźnia poetycka pełni nie mniejszą rolę niż jego wiedza filozoficzna. W tej postawie należy szukać klucza dla zrozumienia aksjologii Elzenberga.
Autor przedstawia historię przyjaźni Henryka Elzenberga ze Zbigniewem Herbertem. Pokazuje i charakteryzuje ich wspólne zainteresowania i postawy życiowe. Filozof Elzenberg i poeta Herbert cenili niezależność myślową i polityczną. Akceptowali koncepcję rzeczywistości, którą można poznać nie tyle przy pomocy rozumu – racjonalnie, co przy pomocy uczucia, poezji, mistyki – w sposób irracjonalny. Obaj opowiadali się za ważną pozycją poezji w tworzeniu kultury i podkreślali jej rolę jako medium poznawczego. Korespondencyjny dialog Elzenberga i Herberta służył wymianie myśli, rozwijał samodzielność intelektualną, oryginalność, nieustępliwość, przywiązanie do wartości.
This study is a research reconnaissance into the visual imagery in the poetry of Jan Kochanowski, Poland’s most talented poet before the Romantic Age. Although he was familiar with the technique of ekphrasis and took an interest in emblems, he seems to have been rather sparing in making use of visual potential of the poetic word. However, he does rely on the sense of sight in his epistemological refl ection concerning the problem of knowing God, aesthetics (the experience of beauty) and ethics (the visible order of the world as a guide to proper conduct). The eye also plays a major role in his descriptions of the human psychology, especially love. The sight has a special function in his Treny (Laments), a cycle of elegies written after the death of his baby daughter Urszula in 1579. While addressing the fundamental questions of life and death, Kochanowski draws on visual and aural imagery to convey the devastating pain felt by the father after the death of his beloved child and to question his earlier confi dence in man’s sovereign mind.
This article examines the relationship of Maryla Wolska with the poets and artists of the Young Poland in Lwów and, more broadly, with the literary community of the early 20th century. She was a leading light of Płanetnicy (The Rainmakers), an informal group of artists who met at her house in Lwów. The role of a friend and mate, someone who was treated equally as a writer, did not sit well, however, with her role as mistress of the house, hostess of a literary salon and representative of a family which occupied a high position in the social hierarchy. To ride on the crest of the wave she strove to combine two strategies, a modern jauntiness and a studious attention to 19th-century proprieties. Although she did well for herself, her success was by no means complete.
This article is an attempt to confront the autothematic refl ection in Leopold Staff’s (Ars poetica and The Artist’s Sadness) with two poems, inspired by a somewhat similar approach, by Tymoteusz Karpowicz and Krystyna Miłobędzka. What they seem to have in common are textual signs of welcome with ‘open arms’ and ‘the outstretched hand’. These emblematic gestures invite the reader/the Other to a diffi cult dialogue and at the same time indicate the nature of the authors’ poetic ambition. The analysis of the two pairs of poems is set in the context of the 20th-century evolution of the idea of poetic genius and the poet’s self-awareness. Crucial to this comparative study of the poetic practice of Leopold Staff, Tymoteusz Karpowicz and Krystyna Miłobędzka is an appraisal of the authenticity of their vision and the language they used to express their maximalist ambitions.
This article outlines the approach adopted by Władysław Syrokomla (the pen name of Ludwik Kondratowicz) in his translation of Latin verse and examines, by analyzing some of the poems he translated into Polish, how it worked in practice. He believed that the translator should strive for an empathic attunement to the writers voice (Einfühlung) while ‘remaining oneself’ and that abandoning ‘slavish imitation’ was the best way to animate a poem (an approach much criticized by philological authorities). These ideas are discussed in the fi rst part of the article; the second part contains analyses of his translations of Latin odes written by Maciej Sarbiewski, i.e. Ode I 19 (Ad caelestem adspirat patriam), II 3 (Ad suam testudinem), and IV 12 (Ad Ianum Libinium. Solitudinem suam excusat). Syrokomla does not engage in any intertextual games with the ancients; instead, he adapts the original to the formal and stylistic conventions of his time, most notably the Romantic concept of the poem as a projection of a poetic consciousness (‘ego’). In effect, Sarbiewski’s (neo) classical poetic personas become versions of the Romantic hero, most conspicuously in the case of Ode IV 12.
This article presents a comparative analysis of two poems, Stéphane Mallarmé’s ‘Soupir’ (1866) and Wacław Rolicz-Lieder’s ‘To My Sister’s Smile’, published in 1891. ‘Soupir’ is one of Mallarmé’s early poems, yet in many respects, as this analysis demonstrates, looks forward to the French poet’s mature phase and foreshadows the poetics of Wacław Rolicz-Lieder. Chief among the similarities are the autothematic focus and the intent to convey feelings of emptiness and longing for an ideal in poems refined to the point of préciosité. However, for all their preoccupation with the craft of poetry, either poet believed that inspiration was absolutely vital for creativity. This article argues that Mallarmé’s poetics, especially his ideas of inspiration and originality, was taken over by Wacław Rolicz-Lieder, who adapted it to suit his own poetic project.
This article looks at Leopold Staff’s translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s volume of poems Fruit-Gathering (1921). A close analysis of the translator’s decisions and miscomprehensions in the Polish text – in confrontation with the French, German and English versions of the original – suggests that he made use of the English translation. The article throws light on the circumstances which led to the introduction of Tagore’s poetry to the Polish audience; reviews the main features of his poetics; and undertakes a comparative reading of the two texts, the original and its Polish rendition. The latter appears to be in many ways beholden to early 20th-century modernist taste, in particular its idealizing aesthetics and a fascination with the exotic Orient.