By Rosemary M. Canfield Reisman

ISBN-10: 1587659190

ISBN-13: 9781587659195

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Despite censorship, a great deal of émigré literature found its way into the country, and its popularity was remarkable, to mention only the examples of Miuosz, Wierzy½ski, and Wat. Those poets who remained in Poland or were repatriated faced a situation of more or less limited freedom of speech. In spite of that, postwar Polish poetry scored many artistic successes. The immediate postwar years brought about the debut of Tadeusz Ró/ewicz (born 1921), who propounded a new, ascetic style devoid of metaphors and sparing in imagery.

Ady’s poems to his wife, on the other hand, are more in the tradition of Pet¹fi, in which the emotional-spiritual content is on a par with the physical. It would be misleading, however, to dismiss the Leda poems as purely physical: Brüll offered Ady much more than physical excitement, and these poems reflect a world of shared ideas. They are more significant and generally more successful than the poems on fleeting alliances with insignificant partners. “Félig csókolt csók” (“Half-Kissed Kiss”), from New Verses, and “Léda a kertben” (“Leda in the Garden”), from Blood and Gold, emphasize the intense desire that cannot be satisfied even in physical union.

Antoni Malczewski (1793-1826) left behind only one work, though a highly valuable one: the Byronic tale in verse Maria (1826). Józef Bogdan Zaleski (1802-1866) was an author of serene, songlike lyrics alluding to the forms of folk poetry. Seweryn Goszczynski (1801-1876) appeared as an extreme example of political radicalism, which he professed particularly in the tale in verse Zamek kaniowski (1828; Kaniów Castle). None of these poets achieved a position comparable to that of Mickiewicz. After the 1831 defeat of the November Insurrection, Mickiewicz became the uncrowned prince of Polish poets, many of whom settled in Paris as political refugees.

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Eastern European Poets (Critical Survey of Poetry) by Rosemary M. Canfield Reisman


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