Polish Symphony of Sorrowful Songs in Royal Albert Hall


Wednesday 4 September, 7.30pm

Henryk Mikołaj Górecki: Symphony No. 3, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs (60 mins)

Ruby Hughes soprano
Jennifer Johnston mezzo-soprano
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä conductor


Symphony of Sorrowful Songs was inspired  by a prayer inscribed on the wall of cell no. 3 in the basement of the Gestapo headquarters in Zakopane. The signature of Helena Wanda Blazusiakówna, and the words “18 years old, imprisoned since 26 September 1944″ were written under the prayer.

One of the songs  says:

No, Mother, do not weep,
Most chaste Queen of Heaven
Support me always.
“Zdrowas Mario / Ave Maria”

The first performance  of the Symphony with the  great Polish soprano Stefania Woytowicz  and conductor  Ernest Bour took place on 4 April 1977 at the Royal International Festival .


M.H. Górecki (1933-2010)


S. Woytowicz (1922-2005)

Stefania Woytowicz and Jerzy Katlewicz present a part of Symphony of Sorrowful Songs:

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Filed under Polecamy! / Recommended by us!, Rok Polski / The Polish Year, W poszukiwaniu straconego czasu / Auf der Suche nach der verlorenen Zeit / In Search of Lost Time, Wielcy Polacy / Great Poles


Once a year on August 1st Warsaw’s residents pay homage to the fallen heroes who fought for freedom in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. The largest rebellion against German Nazi occupation during WW II, it cost over 200 000 lives and destruction of the capital.

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Filed under Rok Polski / The Polish Year


What can you see in the picture  at the top of my site? In this picture you can see University of Warsaw Library!

Location: Warsaw (Poland)
Architects: Marek Budzyński and Zbigniew Badowski

My kind greetings from Poland!

OKIENKOkatalogiHINC OMNIA                                                                                                                            Fot. Księgi:  P. Kania

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Filed under Cymelium i curiosum / Keimélion and curiosum, Mapa podróży / Travel Map

Mój latający dywan / My Flying Carpet

Dedicated to tkmorin and my international readers.

Shortly  after my announcement of a long break in writing my blog, I have received a new  award nomination from tkmorin, a creator of a brilliant blog on the subject of history of Canada.


What a wonderful coincidence: thank you, friend! As before, after the nomination by Stephanie and by Marcela, I haven’t had time to implement the necessary procedure required in such situation. However, I’ve decided to thank you in a different, rather unusual way.

I’m extending to you, tkmorin, a virtual invitation to Poland with a photo showing the Poland Travel Guide Polska / Poland with my favourite wooden Polish birds perching on top of the book.


I am truly happy to be a member of the blogger’s society. It means so much to me for a reason completely inconceivable to citizens of the free world. For a long time I lived in a communist state, practically without open borders. Many years ago meeting people from other lands in Poland was almost a miracle for a humble citizen, and talking to them—hard or quite impossible due to our poor knowledge of foreign languages. This has been changing slowly at first, and recently much more quickly. In spite of this change, however,  I continue to be amazed that I am able to  ‘talk’ to so many people all over the world, from each continent (excluding Antarctica), from over 60 countries , and that they are reading my blog. So this blog at wordpress.com is like a magic carpet from a beautiful tale. You can see a part of it below under the title A Whole New World:

Of course I am not a beautiful, young princess, but sometimes I feel like a girl flying through the skies, gazing at the following people (in the alphabetical order, with the exception of tkmorin) :


Agroekonomija from Serbia

Andrzej from Poland

Bente from Norway

Cheyenne from US

Chris from Indonesia

Elisabeth from France

Jan from Belgium

Joseph from India

Katy from Czech Republic

Martha from Italy

Marsha from US

Micheline from  Canada

Ralph from Spain

Maria and Tim from US

Marcela from US

Uzoma from Nigeria

Rebecca from Canada

Przemysław from Poland

Sigoese from Indonesia

Stephanie from US

Razca from Romania

Wendy from US

Virginia from US

Volfee from Poland …

It’s a never-ending list; I have to stop!

Once more: so long, everybody!


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Filed under Iluminacje / Illuminations, Mapa podróży / Travel Map, Nagroda. Nominacja / Award. Nomination, Polecamy! / Recommended by us!, Tajemnice / Secrets

Magdalenki przed Wielką Przerwą / Madeleines before a Great Break

Dear Friends,

I have received two new nominations for blogosphere awards. I’m sending my warmest greetings to the two persons who themselves have created great blogs and who recently have nominated me for lovely awards.  I would like to extend my deep gratitude to:






Unfortunately, because at the moment I am involved in several complex projects at my museum and at home, I have no time to implement nomination procedures. Instead I have decided to present a special gift to my most favourite bloggers. It is a MADELEINE .


On this photo you can see the  madeleines  I baked myself for a gathering of my Polish friends  who meet at the museum to discuss literature. Since on this particular occasion we talked about Marcel Proust I presented them with these famous little pastries, which they ate with gusto!   Some time ago I have written in this blog about madeleines, invented in the Polish king Stanislaw Leszczynski’s kitchen:


Thus a delicious MADELEINE goes to STEPHANIE and MARCELA and ALL my good FRIENDS from the  blogosphere.

So, did you get my madeleine? Can you taste  its flavour?  Enjoy.  You may sip some of Marcel Proust’s lime blossom tea as well; they go well together.

See you later, my friends. I will be very busy this summer but I will try to come back as soon as possible.

With  kind greetings,



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Filed under Nagroda. Nominacja / Award. Nomination, Piękne książki / Beautiful Books, Tajemnice / Secrets

Uciec i powrócić / To Flee and To Come Back

Dedicated to Virginia who has shown interest in my native city  (Poznan, Poland)


To piękne i dziwne miasto / A beautiful and strange town

Częściowo zniszczone / Partially devastated

Stopniowo odnawiane / Gradually restored

Bałam się go jako dziecko / Daunting when I was a child

Teraz się nim cieszę / Now much enjoyed

Często je odwiedzam / I often visit it

Czasem ono odwiedza mnie we snach /

Sometimes it visits me in my dreams

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Filed under Cymelium i curiosum / Keimélion and curiosum, Mapa podróży / Travel Map

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!


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.


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

W ich sercach bije tętno całej ludzkości / The pulse of mankind beats in their hearts

A Polish GirlA Polish Girl with Roses (~1815)

Dzień Dziecka obchodzimy w Polsce 1 czerwca. Polacy lubią to święto na przekór jego korzeniom. Dzień Dziecka został ustanowiony w Moskwie, stając się jedną z podstaw stalinowskiej „propagandy pokoju” w byłych państwach socjalistycznych, także w Polskiej Republice Ludowej (1945-1989). Tradycja świętowania przetrwała w wolnej Polsce.

Mam zaszczyt przedstawić wiersz Karola Wojtyły w tłumaczeniu Jerzego Pietrkiewicza.

In Poland, Children’s Day  is celebrated on June 1. Poles like this feast in spite of  its roots: Children’s Day was established  in Moscow and was strongly bound to Stalin’s „peace propaganda” policy in former socialist countries including „People’s Republic of Poland” (1945-1989). This tradition has survived up until today in free Poland.

I have the honour of introducing to you a poem by Karol Wojtyla translated by Jerzy Pietrkiewicz.

Dorastają znienacka przez miłość, i potem tak nagle dorośli
trzymając się za ręce wędrują w wielkim tłumie —
(serca schwytane jak ptaki, profile wrastają w półmrok).
Wiem, że w ich sercach bije tętno całej ludzkości.
Trzymając się za ręce usiedli cicho nad brzegiem.
Pień drzewa i ziemia w księżycu: niedoszeptany tli trójkąt.
Mgły nie dźwignęły się jeszcze. Serca dzieci wyrastają nad rzekę.
Czy zawsze tak będzie — pytam — gdy wstaną stąd i pójdą?
Albo też jeszcze inaczej: kielich światła nachylony wśród roślin
odsłania w każdej z nich jakieś przedtem nie znane dno.
Tego, co w was się zaczęło, czy potraficie nie popsuć,
czy będziecie zawsze oddzielać dobro i zło?

Growing unawares through love, of a sudden
they’ve grown up, and hand in hand wander in crowds
(their hearts caught like birds, profiles pale in the dusk).
The pulse of mankind beats in their hearts.
On a bank by the river, holding hands—
a tree stump in moonlight, the earth a half-whisper—
the children’s hearts rise over the water.
Will they be changed when they get up and go?
Or look at it this way: a goblet of light tilted
over a plant reveals unknown inwardness.
Will you be able to keep from spoiling what has begun in you?
Will you always separate the right from the wrong?

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Filed under Historia Polski / History of Poland, Poetry / Poezja, Poezja / Poetry, Polecamy! / Recommended by us!, Rocznice/ Anniversaries, Rok Polski / The Polish Year

Moja piosnka / My song


Moja piosnka II
Do kraju tego, gdzie kruszynę chleba
Podnoszą z ziemi przez uszanowanie
Dla darów Nieba….
Tęskno mi, Panie…

Do kraju tego, gdzie winą jest dużą
Popsować gniazdo na gruszy bocianie,
Bo wszystkim służą…
Tęskno mi, Panie…

Do kraju tego, gdzie pierwsze ukłony
Są, jak odwieczne Chrystusa wyznanie,
„Bądź pochwalony!”
Tęskno mi, Panie… […]

My Song II
For that land where a scrap of bread is picked up
From the ground out of reverence
For Heaven’s gifts…
I am homesick, Lord!…

For the land where it’s a great travesty
To harm a stork’s nest in a pear tree,
For storks serve us all…
I am homesick, Lord!…

For the land where we greet each other
In the ancient Christian custom:
„May Christ’s name be praised!”
I am homesick, Lord!… […]


Cyprian Kamil Norwid was born in 1821 near Warsaw.  Largely self-taught, he left Poland at the age of 21, moving widely around Europe, befriended by Chopin among others, before travelling to America. Persistently dogged by financial crises, he was forced to return to Paris in 1854. There he spent the rest of his life, dying in a hostel for Polish insurrection veterans in Ivry in 1883.

CV from http://www.anvilpresspoetry.com/authors.asp?id=28&authors=1&editors=0&translators=0

Dąbrówka kościół

Norwid was baptized here. This is a village Dąbrówka about 40 km west of Warsaw


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Filed under Piękne książki / Beautiful Books, Poetry / Poezja, W poszukiwaniu straconego czasu / Auf der Suche nach der verlorenen Zeit / In Search of Lost Time, Wielcy Polacy / Great Poles