Category Archives: Arcydzieło literackie / The Masterpiece in Literature

A HISTORICAL MOMENT

KsiążkiKanonizacja Jana Pawła II 27 kwietnia 2014 roku była historycznym wydarzeniem dla Kościoła Katolickiego, lecz również dla… świata literatury. Zanim Jan Paweł II został papieżem, był nie tylko polskim księdzem o nazwisku Karol Wojtyła, ale i pisarzem. Jako stary papież napisał swój ostatni literacki tekst pt. Tryptyk rzymski.

Karol Wojtyła / Jan Paweł II jest wybitnym, lecz ciągle niedocenianym pisarzem metafizycznym.

Bibliografia Jana Pawla II (okres przedpontyfikalny)
Dramaty: Dawid, Hiob, Jeremiasz, Przed sklepem jubilera, Brat naszego Boga, Promieniowanie ojcostwa.

Poezja: Renesansowy psałterz i wiele innych wierszy.

The canonizations of Pope John Paul II April 27, 2014 was a historic moment for the Catholic Church and for… literary world as well. Until his election as pope John Paul II was not only a Polish priest named Karol Wojtyla but a writer too. As the old pope he has written his last literary text titled Roman Triptych.

Karol Wojtyła / John Paul II is an outstanding but still underestimated metaphysical writer.

Pope John Paul II bibliography (Pre-Pontifical Writings)
Plays: David,Job, Jeremiah,The Jeweller’s Shop,Our God’s Brother, Radiation of Fatherhood.

Poetry: Renaissance Psalter and many other poems.

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Filed under Arcydzieło literackie / The Masterpiece in Literature, Cymelium i curiosum / Keimélion and curiosum, Dzieje inteligencji polskiej XIX i XX wieku / The Polish Intelligentsia and its History (XIX-XX century), Historia Polski / History of Poland, Piękne książki / Beautiful Books, Poetry / Poezja, Wielcy Polacy / Great Poles

Ironia losu / The Irony of Fate / Іронія долі

Taras_Shevchenko_selfportrait_oil_1840

Taras Szewczenko (1814-1861) to najwybitniejszy ukraiński pisarz, a także znakomity malarz. (Obejrzyj jego autoportret).   Szewczenko ukształtował podwaliny pod nowoczesny literacki język ukraiński.

Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861) is the greatest Ukrainian writer and outstanding painter as well. (See his self-portrait). Shevchenko has created the foundation of the modern literary Ukrainian language.

Artysta marzył o wolnej Ukrainie.

The artist dreamed about Ukraine as an independent state.

 Szewczenko żył tylko 47 lat, lecz zaledwie 9 jako wolny człowiek: 24 lata był chłopem pańszczyźnianym, 10 lat spędził na wygnaniu, na które skazał go car za udział w walce o wolną Ukrainę. Pisarz ukształtował podwaliny nowoczesnego literackiego języka ukraińskiego.

 Shevchenko lived only 47 years but merely 9 as a free man: 24 years he spent in serfdom, 10 in exile as a prisoner of tsar for participating in a secret long-term battle for free Ukraine.

 Ironia losu. Świętowanie 200. rocznicy urodzin Tarasa Szewczenki ma miejsce w marcu 2014, kiedy rosyjskie wojska okupują ukraiński Krym.

 The Irony of Fate. Celebration the 200th Anniversary of Birth of Taras Shevchenko takes place on March, 2014 when Russian Troops occupy Ukraine’s Crimea.

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Filed under Arcydzieło literackie / The Masterpiece in Literature, Rocznice/ Anniversaries

AS YOU LIKE IT

Dear Canadian Friends! Congratulations on a great event – Canada’s Alice Munro wins Nobel literature prize!

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Filed under Arcydzieło literackie / The Masterpiece in Literature, Nagroda. Nominacja / Award. Nomination, Piękne książki / Beautiful Books

Najpiękniejszy poeta / The Most Beautiful Poet

tuwim (1)

This special entry is for my international readers 🙂

I’ ve promised to write about Julian Tuwim on the occasion of his tribute year.  Tuwim published his first poem,  Plea (Prośba) ,  a  hundred years ago in  the „Kurier Warszawski” newspaper.  Eventually, Tuwim became one of the most renowned Polish writers, deeply rooted in Poland and its literary tradition. In addition to many volumes of poetry he also wrote for children. His brilliant and funny poem The Locomotive (Lokomotywa) shaped the language and imagination of many generations of Polish youngsters.

Tuwim’s poetry is famous for its incredibly rich, flexible, beautiful and elegant language which, at times, does not shy from biting or coarse expressions.

Watch and hear below:

I have the honour to present this Tuwim’s poem in an excellent and charming translation, as well as performance, by  Marcel Weyland, an outstanding writer and translator.

Just a moment, please! First, kindly read Tuwim’s short bio:

J U L I A N  T U W I M

Born: September 13, 1894, Łódź, Poland, into a middle-class family

Died: December 27, 1953 (aged 59), Zakopane, Poland

Occupation: Poet

Nationality: Polish

Ethnicity: Jewish

Literary movement: Skamander

Notable award: Golden Laurel of the Polish Academy of Literature (1935)

Parents: Izydor and Adela (nee Krukowski, shot by German Nazis in Otwock’s Gettho in 1942)

Spouse: Stefania Tuwim nee Marchew (since 1919)

Children: Ewa Tuwim-Woźniak

Relatives: Irena Tuwim (sister, a poet herself); Kazimierz Krukowski (cousin, a Polish-Jewish cabaret performer and writer);  great pianist Arthur Rubinstein; Adam Czerniaków,  a Polish-Jewish engineer and senator, who committed a suicide in the Warsaw Ghetto, uncle by marriage.

Most important life events:

Studies  (law and philosophy at the Warsaw University.) Co-funding  the literary group „Skamander” and the „Picador” cabaret. Writing for and acting as artistic director of several other cabarets. Emigration, at the beginning of WWII, to France, Brazil and finally the USA. Return to Poland in 1946, where his more modest creativity contrasted with his extensive prewar writing and performing.

Attention: behold,  The Locomotive!

lokomotywa

Last but not least: why did I name Tuwim The Most Beautiful Poet?

Maria Kuncewiczowa (1895-1989), a writer, explains this well :

Tuwim with his gorgeous mole on his cheek . Apparently this mole gave him an inferiority complex. Hard to believe. I doubt that he would have been more beautiful without the mole, since he was so attractive with it. I imagined that  the Persian poet Hafiz looked just like him and I was surprised not to see  Tuwim walk  a gazelle on a silver chain through the city streets.

Bibliografia / Bibliography

Chosen texts:

. Czyhanie na Boga (Lurking for God, 1918)

. Sokrates tańczący (Dancing Socrates, 1920)

. Siódma jesień (The Seventh Autumn, 1921)

. Wierszy tom czwarty (Poems, Volume Four, 1923)

. Murzynek Bambo (Bambo the little Negro, 1923)

. Czary i czarty polskie (Sorcery and Deuces of Poland, 1924)

. Wypisy czarnoksięskie (The Reader of Sorcery, 1924)

. A to pan zna? (And do you know it?, 1925)

. Czarna msza (Black Mass, 1925)

. Tysiąc dziwów prawdziwych (A Thousand Real Curiosities, 1925)

. Słowa we krwi (Words in Blood, 1926)

. Tajemnice amuletów i talizmanów (The Secrets of Amulets and Talismans, 1926)

. Polityczna szopka cyrulika warszawskiego (The Political Puppet Theatre of a Warsaw Barber, 1927)

. Rzecz czarnoleska (A Tale of Czarnolas, 1929)

. Jeździec miedziany (The Bronze Horseman, 1932)

. Biblia cygańska i inne wiersze (Gypsy Bible and Other Poems, 1932)

. Jarmark rymów (Rhyme Market, 1934)

. Polski słownik pijacki i antologia bachiczna (The Polish Drunkard’s Dictionary and the Bacchic Anthology, 1935)

. Treść gorejąca (Burning Content, 1936)

. Bal w Operze ( Ball at the Opera,1936, published 1946)

. Kwiaty polskie (Polish Flowers,1940-1946, published 1949)

. Pegaz dęba, czyli panoptikum poetyckie (Pegasus Rearing, or a Poetic Panopticum, 1950)

. W oparach absurdu (In the Fumes of Absurdity, 1958)

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Filed under Arcydzieło literackie / The Masterpiece in Literature, Historia Polski / History of Poland, Poetry / Poezja, Poezja / Poetry, Rocznice/ Anniversaries

Wyrazić Niewyrażalne / To Express the Unexpressible

Amerykański poeta W.S. Merwin otrzymał nagrodę Zbigniewa Herberta.

Wręczono ją uroczyście, wraz z czekiem na 50 tysięcy dolarów,  3 czerwca 2013 roku w Teatrze Polskim w Warszawie.

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American poet William  Stanley  Merwin has been awarded the international Zbigniew Herbert Prize (dedicated to the memory of the late Polish writer. Merwin is its first recipient).

The award was presented, along with a check for $50,000, during a ceremony on June 3, 2013, at the Teatr Polski (Polish Theatre) in Warsaw, Poland.

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Filed under Arcydzieło literackie / The Masterpiece in Literature, Poetry / Poezja, Poezja / Poetry, Tajemnice / Secrets

Nigdy nie zapomnę / I’ll never forget

Anna Świrszczyńska

GETTO: MATKA

Ściskając w ramionach na pół uduszone od dymu niemowlę

biegła z krzykiem schodami podpalonego domu.

Z pierwszego piętra na drugie.

Z drugiego na trzecie.

Z trzeciego na czwarte.

Aż wyskoczyła na dach

i zachłysnąwszy się powietrzem, uczepiona komina

spojrzała w dół, skąd dobiegał

szelest podchodzących coraz wyżej płomieni.

Wtedy znieruchomiała i umilkła.

Milczała już do końca, aż do chwili,

gdy nagle zacisnęła powieki,

zrobiła krok ku krawędzi dachu i wysuwając przed siebie ręce

upuściła dziecko w dół.

Dwie sekundy wcześniej, nim skoczyła sama.

 

THE GHETTO: A MOTHER

Cuddling in the arms her half-asphyxiated baby, howling,

she ran up the staircase of the apartment building that was set ablaze.

From the first floor to the second.

From the second to the third.

From the third to the fourth.

Until she had jumped onto the roof.

There, having choked with air, clinging to the chimney,

she looked down from where she could hear

the crackle of flames which were reaching higher and higher.

And then she became motionless and silent.

She kept silent to the end, till the moment

at which she suddenly clenched her eyelids,

stepped to the roof edge and, throwing forward her arms,

she dropped her baby down.

Two seconds earlier than she herself leapt down.

ANNA ŚWIRSZCZYŃSKA (1909–1984)

Anna Swirszczyńska (also known as Anna Swir) was born in Warsaw to an artistic though impoverished family. She studied medieval Polish literature. In the 1930s she worked for the teachers’ association, served as an editor, and began publishing poetry. Swirszczyńska joined the Resistance during World War II and worked as a military nurse during the Warsaw Uprising; at one point she came within an hour of being executed before she was spared. In addition to poetry, which deals with  themes such as motherhood, the female body, and sensuality, Swirszczyńska wrote plays and stories for children and directed a children’s theater. She lived in Krakow from 1945 until her death in 1984.

Poetry collections

  • Wiersze i proza (Poems and Prose) (1936)
  • Liryki zebrane (Collected Poems) (1958)
  • Czarne słowa (Black Words) (1967)
  • Wiatr (Wind) (1970)
  • Jestem baba (I am a Woman) (1972)
  • Poezje wybrane (Selected Poems) (1973)
  • Budowałam barykadę (Building the Barricade) (1974)
  • Szczęśliwa jak psi ogon (Happy as a Dog’s Tail) (1978)
  • Cierpienie i radość (Suffering and Joy) (1985)

Collections in English translation

  • Thirty-four Poems on the Warsaw Uprising (1977), New York. Transl.: Magnus Jan Kryński, Robert A. Maguire.
  • Building the Barricade (1979), Kraków. Transl.: Magnus Jan Kryński, Robert A. Maguire.
  • Happy as a Dog’s Tail (1985), San Diego. Transl.: Czesław Miłosz i Leonard Nathan.
  • Fat Like the Sun (1986), London. Transl.: M. Marshment, G. Baran.
  • Talking to My Body (Copper Canyon Press, 1996) Transl.: Czesław Miłosz i Leonard Nathan.
  • Building the Barricade and Other Poems of Anna Swir Tr. by Piotr Florczyk (Calypso Editions, 2011).

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Filed under Arcydzieło literackie / The Masterpiece in Literature, Poetry / Poezja, Poezja / Poetry, Rocznice/ Anniversaries

A Tribute to a Poet / W hołdzie poecie

Konstandinos Kawafis

Constantine Cavafy

 Κωνσταντίνος Καβάφης

(1863 — 1933)

Kawafis

W kwietniu 2013 obchodzimy 150 rocznicę urodzin

Konstantindosa Kawafisa,

jednego z największych poetów nowożytnych

__________________________________________________________

In April 2013 we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth

of Constantine Cavafy, one of the greatest modern poets

MARE AEGEUM

Modlitwa

Morze młodego żeglarza wchłonęło w toń głęboką.
Jago matka, o niczym nie wiedząc, zapala świecę wysoką.

Przed Matką Bożą stawia płonącą świecę woskową,
by wrócił prędko, by dobre dni zaświtały na nowo.

I ciągle nasłuchuje odgłosów wiatru, skupiona.
A kiedy tak się modli, kiedy tak prosi, ikona,

poważna i smutna, spogląda na nią ze ściany.
Ona wie, że nie wróci ten syn wyczekiwany.

_____________________________

Prayer

A sailor drowned in the sea’s depths.–
Unaware, his mother goes and lights

a tall candle before the ikon of our Lady
praying that he’ll come back quickly, that the weather may be good —

her ear cocked always to the wind.
While she prays and supplicates,

the ikon listens, solemn, sad,
knowing the son she waits for never will come back.

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Filed under Arcydzieło literackie / The Masterpiece in Literature, Poetry / Poezja, Poezja / Poetry