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Polish Poetry of World War II (Part 1)

Updated on February 23, 2008

Modern Polish literature is so often neglected in anthologies, yet it is one of the richest places that literature, both satiric and serious, has been cultivated within the last century.

But then, Poland gets overlooked a lot, doesn't it?

In the early part of the twentieth century, Europe was changing, and that is most evident in the work of the intellectuals, the poets. Poland was right in the middle of all of it. The people of that generation were disillusioned with life, their countries, and the world.

Polish Pride

The hardships that Poland faced affected writers in different ways, but the overall effect is a stunning one. The themes of war, disillusionment, and destruction hold strong, yet most of those are underlying and less important compared to sensuality, passion (be it positive or negative), and love.

Poland, if any country, should have its writers acknowledged for their ingenuity in creating such interesting and meaningful situations out of something so horribly destructive to their lives.

While some Polish writers such as playwright Slawomir Mrozek have been recognized worldwide, it is not enough. The incredible revolutionary writing style that Halina Poświatowska employed to recreate her connection with nature and sensuality should be relayed to the rest of the world. Tadeusz Borowski’s bitter attitude towards America’s prosperity and ignorance, shared by the whole of Poland, should be something of which more people aware.

This Series

This series of hubs is dedicated to those poets (and playwrights, short story writers, etc) who have been overlooked in the face of all the overwhelming art that came out of the World War II erea.

It details their (usually fascinatingly exciting) lives and then links to some of their poetry. Read all the parts to follow them on their journeys.

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My Own Poetry

I'll leave you with a little poem I wrote in Polish when I was in middle school. It's just some silly nonsense from the few phrases in Polish that I know/knew.


Ja suszę moje włosy,

ja słyszę moje głosy:

Czy mogę mówić do Klaudi?

One mówią do mnie…

do mnie.


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