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Selected Masterpieces of Polish Poetry : translated from the Polish by Jarek Zawadzki

By Zawadzki, Jarek

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Book Id: WPLBN0003575468
Format Type: PDF eBook:
File Size: 0.9 MB
Reproduction Date: 7/11/2007

Title: Selected Masterpieces of Polish Poetry : translated from the Polish by Jarek Zawadzki  
Author: Zawadzki, Jarek
Language: English
Subject: Fiction, Drama and Literature, Polish Poetry
Collections: Authors Community, Poetry
Publication Date:
Publisher: Booksurge
Member Page: Jarek Zawadzki


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Zawadzki, Translato, B. J. (2007). Selected Masterpieces of Polish Poetry : translated from the Polish by Jarek Zawadzki. Retrieved from

The selection of poems in this anthology may seem a bit unorthodox for Polish literature experts. I have no degree or expertise in any sort of literary research, which may well be the reason for my bizarre taste as presented here. I have tried my very best to include mainly those poems that are obligatory readings in Polish high schools, so that the English Reader can have the chance to get to know a portion of the choicest Polish poetry that an average Pole has willy-nilly come across in his life (one of the poems happens to be a well-known Christmas carol, even). However, Witkacy’s poem about his portrait company might be an exception to the rule. I have (un)fortunately excluded all the longer though important and well-known poems, since I have my deep and well-grounded doubts whether they would ever get read. Sigh. Again, Ode to Youth by Adam Mickiewicz is an exception and hopefully some will read it. I do realize that for the Modern Reader, it may come as a very odd practice to use the thou-thee-thy forms even in translations of classical poetry. I have made use of them, but only in the earlier poems i.e. since the beginnings to the romanticism inclusively. My reason for doing so is the fact that the English (British) poets of the said periods were using these forms rather extensively and on a very much regular basis even though the forms themselves had gone out of current use at the time of writing. Some Readers might also complain about my inclusion of rhyme, which may lead to loss or alteration of the original meaning. Well, this is no legal treaty or technical documentation. It’s poetry, people. It’s meant to be read for pleasure, not literary or linguistic study. If you are interested in a serious and full-fledged study of Polish poetry, looking into the originals would be a preferable course to follow. What has been lost (or added) in my translations constitutes but a negligible part and concerns a few lines only.

Polish classic poems in English translation with Polish version available on the side.

To the Young by Adam Asnyk (1838–1897) The brightening flame of truth pursue, Seek to discover ways no human knows. With every secret now revealed to you, The soul of man expands within the new. And God still bigger grows! Although you may the flowers of myths remove, Although you may the fabulous dark disperse, And tear the mist of fancy from above; There’ll be no shortage of new things to love, Farther in the universe. Each epoch has its special goals in store, And soon forgets the dreams of older days. So, bear the torch of learning in the fore, And join the making of new eras’ lore. The House of the Future raise! But trample not the altars of the past! Although you shall much finer domes erect. The holy flames upon the stones still last, And human love lives there and guards them fast, And them you owe respect! Now with the world that vanishes from view, Dragging down the perfect rainbow of delight, Be gently reconciled in wisdom true. Your stars, oh, youthful conquerors, they, too, Will fade into the night!

Table of Contents
Translator’s note Mother of God Song XXV On Health God’s Plaything Man Fickle To a Corpse When God Is Born, No Power Prevails Vanity My Testament [In Sophie’s Diary] In Verona My Little Song (II) The Tempest To*** Upon the Alps in Splügen 1829 Uncertainty To My Cicerone Ode to Youth [Defend Me from Myself] To the Young Oh, Void Complaints No, Nothing Happened There A Sonnet (One Heart) The End of the 19th Century Hymn to Nirvana Welcome My Beloved Mountains A Portrait Company [I Want No Weeping at My Grave] About the translator


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