ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Polish Poetry of World War II (Part 4)

Updated on February 23, 2008

Halina Poświatowska

Poświatowska emerged in 1958 as a part of a transition in Polish poetry from social realism of a war and post-war world to a much stronger emphasis on the intangible things: courage to express irony, oneself, distance, emotion. An unusual phenomenon of the time, Poświatowska was just what Poland needed.

When she was young, the war front went through her hometown of Czestochowa. She spent a few days hiding with her parents in a cellar, which caused an illness, which was followed by complications that included a serious heart condition. Because of the symptoms of this unknown disease, she was unable to go to school. With her mother’s help, she studied on her own.

Even though she spent time in hospitals and sanatoria, her condition did not improve. At one of the sanatoria, she met Adolf Poświatowska, who would later become her husband. He was an aspiring film director and also had a heart condition. He, unfortunately, died shortly after they were married.

Despite this tragedy, her vigor for life never subsided. Since Polish doctors were unable to help her at the time, many people pulled together to earn the money for her to be able to visit the United States and undergo an operation there. There she made many friends with whom she stayed until she was granted a scholarship to attend Smith College. There she studied art and philosophy while she continued to write. While she was grateful for the life America granted her, she was also critical of the States and often wrote about them after her time there.

Poświatowska did not survive her second operation in the United States and died there in 1967. She was thirty-two years old.

Because her life was constantly under threat by her illness, she regarded death calmly, almost as an acquaintance, though she wanted to live as long as she could. While this certainly affected her poetry, it does not usually appear as a theme on its own.

Join HubPages!

You can write a "hub" like this and make money from the advertisements! Just join the HubPages community (it only takes a few seconds), and start writing about whatever moves you. It's that simple!

Poświatowska's Work

Poświatowska’s work serves as an early form of feminism. In a time when it was expected that women would write only about certain mundane subjects, Poświatowska openly admitted her erotic desires and sensuality. She remained a passionate person in life and on the page until her death, despite the warnings and recommendations of her doctors.

Poświatowska understood extremely well the relationship between love and death, and often dealt with it in her poetry.

In her poetry, Poświatowska never makes an attempt to reach beyond the mysteries that come beyond death. She saw death as a return to nature, writing about seeking, finding, and experiencing her deceased husband through the natural things around her.

While there are many references in her poetry to philosophy, it is not necessarily philosophical in nature. She often employed metaphors of imagination and emotions to convey her ideas, putting a sensual spin on the entire world.

Her work is scarcely mentioned by literary critics, though her words still echo in the minds of people across the world, specifically girls and women. She is included in countless basic anthologies with Polish poetry despite her deviating poetic style.

This website has links to many of Poświatowska's poems (in English translation) online.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)