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10 thoughts on “Treny

  1. says:

    LAMENTS PAINTING PAIN AS POETRYOne of the most renowned poems in Malayalam language, a Dravidian language that happens to be my mother tongue, is Mambazham Mango written by our great poet Vyloppalli In this poignant poem, the poet depicts the sorrow and remembrances of a mourning mother who lost her only child The poem unfolds with the hot tears of a mother tormented by painful memories when she sees the falling of the first golden mango of the season in her residential premise She remembers an incident that transpired four months ago when the mango trees were in full bloom Her naughty child, as part of his fun and frolic, plucks a slender mango flower and sprays its buds like a firework, thereby inviting the wrath of the mother She admonishes him Naughty boy You are the one who should run to pick up mangoes when they are ripe and now you have crushed the buds without waiting for it to grow into golden mangoes Do you want a spanking The child looks crestfallen and with a lake in his eyes tells the mother I won t be there to pick up the ripe mangoes Before the summer mellowed the mangoes, the child leaves the earthly nest to the heavenly abode At the end of the poem, the mother, who witnesses the merriment of neighboring children rushing to pick up the fallen mangoes in summer, places the first mango on the svelte grave of her son and says This fruit, without knowing the truth that you are no , has arrived only for you my darling, to be held by your delicate hands, and savored by your mini mouth I was reminded of this marvelous poem when I read Jan Kochanowski s Laments.Jan Kochanowski 1530 1584 is considered as the most outstanding Polish poet and humanist of the entire Slavic world before the Romantic age Laments Treny , a series of nineteen threnodies or elegies written in Polish and published in 1580 , is regarded a highpoint of Polish Renaissance and his crowning achievement as a poet Its genesis lies in the tragic death of his daughter Ursula when she was just two and a half year old In all the nineteen Threnodies or Laments, Kochanowski desperately pours out his imponderable grief and desolation after the little girl s death with remarkable artistry and pathos They powerfully portray the true depth of his intimate feelings and pain to come to terms with the loss and mourns his own innate human frailty Born into the country nobility, Kochanowski studied at a university in Krak w and later, between 1552 and 1559, at the University of Padua in Italy On his return to Poland in 1559, he served as a secretary at the royal court in Krak w Kochanowski devoted many years to the study of Classical philology and achieved a mastery of Latin and had good knowledge of Greek literature which is evident in his allusions to Greek mythology in many of the laments Kochanowski created a new Polish vernacular literature based upon an assimilation of Greek and Latin models His imagination and innovations gave rise to some of the most celebrated works in Polish literature In that sense, Kochanowski was a poet of genius and can be called the father of modern Polish poetry The new refined English translation of Laments , preserving the meters and rhymes, is the culmination of collaboration between Stanislaw Baranczak, a poet and renowned translator of Polish poetry , and Seamus Heaney, the great Irish poet and Nobel Laureate This new translation is a thrilling triumph and a treat for poetry readers They stand by its own merit as amazingly lyrical English elegies.Making his personal grief public, Kochanowski broke many well established customs and literary conventions in Poland, thereby provoking disapproval of many of his contemporaries Stanislaw Baranczak in his insightful introduction points out that the very thing that has appealed most powerfully to the sensitivities of later generations of readers was the thing that caused the most problems for his contemporary audience As mentioned, Laments constitute an exceptionally vivid account of one man s effort to make sense of a devastating experience and all the poems in this collection overwhelm the readers at the first reading itself It seemed to me that the qualities of the child mourned are less important than the breadth and depth of the poet s own grief The opening poem summons all to assemble and grieve the death of his daughter The poem suggests that, deep as his feelings are, poetry may aid him in his quest for understanding and some sort of recovery Where, then, is relief In shedding tears or wrestling down my grief Kochanowski creates powerful building energy in this poem using repetition of All at the beginning.Lament 1 All Heraclitus tears, all threnodiesAnd plaintive dirges of Simonides,All keens and slow airs in the world, all griefs,Wrung hands, wet eyes, laments and epitaphs,All, all assemble, come from every quarter,Help me to mourn my small girl, my dear daughter,Whom cruel Death tore up with such wild forceOut of my life, it left me no recourse.So the snake, when he finds a hidden nestOf fledgling nightingales, rears and strikes fastRepeatedly, while the poor mother birdTries to distract him with a fierce, absurdFluttering but in vain the venomous tongueDarts, and she must retreat on ruffled wing You weep in vain, my friends will say But then,What is not in vain, by God, in lives of men All is in vain We play at blindman s buffUntil hard edges break into our path.Man s life is error Where, then, is relief In shedding tears or wrestling down my grief The opening of Lament 5 paints a bucolic picture of the shoot of a young olive tree, thriving amidst the other plants, which is cut down by a careless gardener The suddenness of this act is conveyed by a line break, further emphasizing the cutting of the shoot, and followed by a rough and a rapid section on the ravage that death has spawned Lament 5 Just as on olive seedling, when it tries To grow up like the big trees towards the skiesAnd sprouts out of the ground, a single stalk,A slender, leafless, twigless, living stick And which if lopped by the swift sickle s bladeAs it weeds out thorns and nettles, start to fadeAnd, sapped of natural strength, cut off, forlon,Drops by the tree from whose seed it was born So was my dearest Ursula s demise.Growing before her parent s caring eyes,She d barely risen above ground when DeathFelled the dear child with infectious breathAt our very feet Hard eyed Persephone.Were all those tears of no avail to me The belongings of the dead, especially clothes, evoke an intense emotional response in someone who was intimately attached to him The Lament 7 dwells on the inanimate things left by the infant and the mournful memories associated with it Laments 7Pathetic garments that my girl once wore But cannot any The sight of them still haunts me everywhere And feeds my great despair.They miss her body s warmth and so do I All I can do is cry.Eternal, iron slumbers now possess My child each flowered dress,Smooth ribbon, gold clasped belt her mother bought Their worth is set at naught.You were meant, my daughter, to be led To the last stone cold bedBy your poor mother She had promised Than what your four planks store The shroud she herself sewed, the earthen clod I set down at my head.O sealed oak chest, dark lid, board walls that hide The dowry and the bride There is a Shakespearean kind of dramatic power in Laments O sealed oak chest, dark lid, board walls that hide The dowry and the bride and the Kochanowski knew how to alchemize pain into pearls of prosody Having failed to transcend the physical world, the poet begins Lament 8 , a sonnet on his daughter s absence, in measured tones and then turns defenselessly to address her once again as his emotions rise to contradict his effort at control A house that once reverberated with joy and laughter is contrasted with the loud silence where the parents listen for sounds that never come This is a fine expression of the way the life of a household flows in and through a happy child, and the grateful reliance parents themselves put on a child s vivacity and vitality Lament 8The void that fills my house is so immenseNow that my girl is gone It baffles sense We all are here, yet no one is, I feel The flight of one small soul has tipped the scale.You talked for all of us, you sang for all,You played in every nook and cubbyhole.You never would have made your mother broodNor father think too much for his own good The house was carefree Everybody laughed.You held us in your arms our hearts would lift.Now emptiness reigns here the house is still Nobody ever laughs nor ever will.All your old haunts have turned to haunts of pain,And every heart is hankering in vain.While the first eight laments bemoan the cruelty of sudden death or of its symbolic representative Persephone, the last lament takes a totally unexpected shift It is titled A Dream Here the creative urge of Kochanowski finds a splendid solution to his misery It is a dream sequence in which the poet s wish is fulfilled and the little girl actually appears she is seen in Kochanowski s dead mother s arms and it is his mother who finally appeases his tormented soul with philosophical consolation that affirms his Christian faith She commiserates him that in heaven the lives we live Are far glorious and although the loss of Ursula is now mourned, at least she was happy when she lived and admonishes him to stop grieving She asserts a stern interpretation of human experience and human condition Bear humanly the human lot It is clear that Kochanowski wrote these poems as much as for himself as for anyone else as they follow a therapeutic arc of skepticism, sorrow, and rage through to an acceptance of fate and religious hope.Kochanowski s Laments is the noblest piece of restorative poetry that I have encountered The nineteen laments contained in this book demonstrate the ingenious creativity, artistic integrity, stoic resignation, deep humanism, spiritual redemption and enduring universality of Kochanowski as one of the greatest poets of Renaissance era.


  2. says:

    English translation by Seamus Heaney Stanis aw Baranczak, introduction by Baranczak 4.5 This sequence of nineteen poems, first published in 1580, is one of the foundation stones of Polish literature Kochanowski, a gentleman, spent his twenties studying in several foreign cities, becoming respected for his Latin poetry in Padua During his subsequent career at the Polish court, including work as a royal secretary, he wrote innovative and dynamic Polish poetry, adapting forms from Latin and other languages for the new Polish vernacular literature however, he had not yet published Following the election of a new king in 1574, he retired to the countryside, married and started a family It seems that, especially by the standards of his day, Kochanowski had led something of a charmed life until his small daughter Orszula died in 1579 aged 30 months the bereavement which was the subject of the Laments, or Treny Threnodies His philosophies seem to have left him unprepared for this tragedy, despite the high child mortality of the day Baranczak suggests he experienced a very modern sounding state of turmoil Just substitute, for example, a devotee of positive psychology or the prosperity gospel For a sixteenth century humanist in this case, over, a poet whose earlier work included not only a classical tragedy with a plot borrowed from Homer but also a poetic translation of the Psalms elements of stoicism or epicureanism could merge conflictlessly with the belief in providential protection bestowed on the just as a reward for their virtuous lives Calvinism was to score a huge, if short lived, success in Poland, but only several decades later Yet it is precisely this kind of stable and secure philosophical foundation that may well be the first thing to crack when confronted by profound personal tragedy In plenty we praise poverty In pleasure, sorrow seems to beEasy to bear each living breathMakes light of Death.But when the Parcae cease to spinTheir thread, when sorrows enter in,When Death knocks at the door, at lastWe stand aghast.Cicero, silver tongue, please tellWhy exile s tears afflict you still Did you not claim The world s my home,And not just Rome Lament 16 Addressing wisdom that favourite Renaissance personification , he cries To think that I have spent my life in oneLong climb towards your threshold All delusion Wisdom for me was castles in the air I m hurled, like all the rest, from the topmost stair. Lament 9 The initial reception of the poems is also deeply interesting within the history of emotions What is curious is the fact that a respected poet deemed it possible to write a series of poems on the death of his small child This was simply not done, and not done from the perspective of two codes of behavior at once that of social custom and that of literary convention In the rural provinces of Poland at the end of the sixteenth century, the death of a small child was a sad but fairly regular occurrence Even in Kochanowski s own family, Ursula was the first but not the only child to die her older sister Hanna shared her fate soon afterwards.So, by making his grief public, Kochanowski came into conflict with a certain socially accepted and indeed socially required model of behavior What was even striking for his contemporaries, however, was that he also broke a well established literary convention The classical principle of decorum reserved the genre known as the funeral elegy, lament, threnody, neniae, etc., for momentous public occasions deaths of heroes, military leaders, statesmen, great thinkers Therefore, the poet s reaching for this genre unequivocally identified in the sequence s title in order to mourn a child s death and to make things worse, his own child, a very young daughter unknown to anybody beyond the immediate family was tantamount, at best, to a serious artistic error Indeed, the initial reaction to the publication of Laments in 1580 was definitely cold, and the most frequently reiterated charge was that the author had foolishly chosen to write not as he should have, about some persona gravis, but about a persona as shockingly and inexcusably levis as his own child Which is to say that the very thing that has appealed most powerfully to the sensitivities of later generations of readers, including our own, was the thing that caused the most problems for his contemporary audience Baranczak then goes on to warn against mistaking Kochanowski for merely a rebellious Romantic ahead of his time both due to this, and a 1567 poem I sing unto myself and the Muses which may be considered a manifesto of artistic independence and the lack of material gain which goes with that choice This would seem to indicates that it is not a good idea to make blanket statements either way that of course parents of centuries past were, or were not, distraught about the deaths of children It seems quite likely that the spread of responses was varied than the acceptable range today in the Global North.The poems are interesting for their context alone, but the content is very nicely translated here too I d previously looked at the 1920 English version translated by Dorothea Prall, but the sing song line end rhymes were, by and large, offputting There are a few lines where I think the Prall sounds better in English than the Heaney Baranczak, but, all in all, the recent version communicates the emotion directly, making the structure seem less obtrusive, which is what I, and probably a lot of other contemporary readers, need to find translated poetry effective and affecting As I don t read 16th century Polish, I can t comment in detail on how accurately Heaney Baranczack have represented the originals in English all I can say is that there are a handful of lines on which there are different shades of meaning as compared with Prall But through the sequence, there is a representation of a psychological process echoing the K bler Ross grief cycle, to be clinical about it The bereaved father who mentions his wife in the poems it s not just all about him moves through mental states such as bewilderment, anger and questioning of faith, bargaining, despair, an understanding that only time will heal, and, in the final and longest verse, an echo of the medieval dream vision, acceptance after he sees little Orszula in heaven with his own, already deceased, mother.There are some beautiful extended metaphors running through the verses, including Orszula as a baby nightingale this connects with realist lines about the little girl singing, and with her father s vocation as a poet He seems to have hoped she would follow in his footsteps as she got older Another motif is about seedlings and errors in mowing, or ears of grain, a reminder of how overwhelmingly agrarian Renaissance Poland was, and of the rural landscape that would have now surrounded Kochanowski after his years in Padua and Krak w The mowing, I understand, is also used in the medieval English poem, the Pearl by the same unknown author as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and thought to be about the death of the poet s young daughter and which I intend to read in full soon as a companion piece to Laments David J Welsh in his monograph Jan Kochanowski characterises the death wedding imagery found in one Lament to be characteristically Slavic however the very similar similar bride of Jesus idea is also in the Pearl Poland now stands out as the most religious, and most Catholic, country in Europe, yet it seems from these poems that in the Renaissance, its religiosity was not so dissimilar to that elsewhere Classical imagery is used boldly in Kochanowski s Laments, as it would be in English or Italian writing of the same era, in ways that the most strictly pious might find unchristian including gods we are all Pluto s , the underworld, and appeals to Charon However, Kochanowski s doubts about the Christian god are framed with great care, so as to be obviously a product of grief rather than intellectual questioning and, as Welsh points out, they are couched in the language of faith Yet still we, in our arrogance, pretendTo higher faculties that comprehendGod s mysteries we climb to heaven, tryTo fathom its designs, but our mind s eyeProves far too weak The meanings it divinesAre not meant to be read fleet dreams, not signs .Grief, what do you intend Am I to beRobbed first of joy, then equanimity Lament 11 The final few poems have a predominantly Christian focus, indicating, as per Welsh, that The writings of pagan philosophers Lucretius, Cicero, Seneca provided no answer to his desperate questionings In the last resort, Christian humanism was to symbolize for him the only way to attain peace of mind His doubts are finally reconciled in the beautifully translated phrase, three lines from the end of the poetic sequence, one Lord of blight and bliss, giving a sense of transcendent unity, and the reverence necessary in the era Yet there is also an awareness of what secular readers might characterise as the problems of life beyond personal religious belief A significant part of the closing consolation turns on an awareness of how difficult life, and marriage, often was for women of the time So why do you keep crying My God, son,What is there to regret That no man wonHer dowry and her heart, then made her yearsOne long declension into strife and tears That her body wasn t torn by labor pains That her experience was, is, and remainsVirginal, that she got release beforeShe learned if birth or death mark women Lament 19 There is a hint which I may have missed were it not for the commentaries in the introduction and Welsh s book towards a location specific fear that wouldn t be found in English poetry of the time the fear of Tatar raids although in practice these mostly affected lands further to the east in Poland Lithuania than Kochanowski s estate in what was then Sandomierz Voivodeship others still,Abducted and made slaves of, tread the millIn some wild heathen enclave, stooped and lame,Praying for death to come and end their shame. Lament 19 Also in this final poem, the idea of life as a dangerous sea brings to mind the Age of Exploration underway at the other end of Europe, and where attitudes to the sea were becoming less fearful than they had been during the medieval period when even living near the coast was often considered undesirable and risky Perhaps tenuous, but the idea of the sea still seeming dangerous from Poland, reminded me of a GR friend s remark that Eastern European literature felt insular than that of the Spanish speaking world it s not something I ve perceived myself and I am biased in favour of the E Eur stuff anyway but I wonder how much of that is ultimately rooted in geography and geopolitics What Kochanowski could not have known was that, if Orszula had lived, she would have experienced the death of her father when she was aged 7 or 8 he would die himself only four years after publishing these poems These translations can sometimes sound a little too recent in style 19th century perhaps But they enable a sense of direct connection with the feelings of the work as compared with the old Prall translation alongside the attention to form rightly expected of translators who are accomplished poets in their own right There is also a third English translation, by Adam Czerniawski, but that would cost 20, so I haven t read it Reading the Laments, I could not help think of certain households among my Polish ancestors, where several children died, and where the family seems to have been middle class and therefore likely to read poetry Did they also read these poems, in their originals, and did they find any consolation in them There is something about the personal and emotional nature of these poems which prompts these thoughts whereas I d rarely, if ever, wondered, what some British ancestor thought about a particular Dickens novel Learning about Polish literature quite often leads to tantalising reports or fragments of works otherwise untranslated, or unavailable except in exorbitant out of print volumes This, quoted by Welsh, might be characterised as metaphysicals go minimalist, and to this English reader, it carries the sensation of historical styles shifting together like turns of a Rubik s cube Bart omiej Zimorowic died ca 1680 , from The Mourners Narzekalnice My wedding dress a winding sheet A handful of earth my dowry,My bridegroom, the worm the grave my marriage bed My offspring the tears of my parents. It is cited as an example of the total change that Polish poetry underwent in the hundred years dividing the two poets The absence of verbs and connectives gives the lines a remarkable tension, intensified by the powerful contrasts


  3. says:

    Place HolderThe poems in this book lament the death of the writer s 13 year old daughter ETA It seems that I remembered her age wrongly and that she was actually about 30 months oldThey are some of the saddest things I have ever read or contemplated.http www.gutenberg.org files 27179


  4. says:

    He lost a daughter young, his grief in poems poured out these are his, now mine, laments.Excerpts Thou hast made all the house an empty thing,Dear Ursula, by this thy vanishing.Though we are here, tis yet a vacant place,One little soul had filled so great a space Lament VIII What man did his own goodness e er advanceOr piety preserve from evil chance Some unknown foe confuses men s affairs For good and bad alike it nothing cares Where blows its breath, no man can flee away Both false and righteous it hath power to stay.Yet still we vaunt us of our mighty mindIn idle arrogance among our kind Lament X Not sure the translation I read was as good as it could have been Rhyme matters less to me than imagery, and sometimes it felt like rhyme was master to the detriment of the overall quality of the poem s But these laments are quite good, they faithfully reveal what grief is truly like, although there were a few poems I would quibble with or at least suggest an alternative view.This was written almost 500 years ago I never get over that, that as much as time changes, as much as we have supposedly changed as a species, yet there is nothing new under the sun Grief is still what it ever was.


  5. says:

    Anyone with Polish ancestry or close Polish friends should read this slim volume which contains the masterpiece of one of the most important figures in the history of Polish literature This volume contains a cycle of threnodies or elegies composed following the death of his two and a half year old daughter Urszula.In the Laments, Kochanowski shows himself to be a man of considerable erudition citing classic authors such as Homer, Cicero and Plutarch and Renaissance poets such as Petrarch and his own Pierre de Ronsard The work set a standard of excellence that Polish poets attempt to emulate to this day.The translators, Stanis aw Bara czak and Nobel laureate poet Seamus Heaney, produce an eminently readable text that is a great joy to read and ably guides those who have limited knowledge of Polish to read the original which is also contained in this wonderfully organized book The translators introduction admirably places the work in its historical context.


  6. says:

    All Heraclitus tears, all threnodiesAnd plaintive dirges of Simonides,All keens and slow airs in the world, all griefs,Wrung hands, wet eyes, laments and epitaphs,All, all assemble, come from every quarter,Help me to mourn my small girl, my dear daughter,Whom cruel Death tore up with such wild forceOut of my life, it left me no recourse.So the snake, when he finds a hidden nestOf fledgling nightingales, rears and strikes fastRepeatedly, while the poor mother birdTries to distract him with a fierce, absurdFluttering but in vain The venomous tongueDarts, and she must retreat on ruffled wing You weep in vain, by God, in lives of men All is in vain We play at blind man s buffUntil hard edges break into our path.Man s life is error Where, then, is relief In shedding tears or wrestling down my grief Lament 1, pg 27 Just as an olive seedling, when it tries To grow up like the big trees towards the skiesAnd sprouts out of the ground, a single stalk,A slender, leafless, twigless, living stick And which, if lopped by the swift sickle s bladeAs it weeds out thorns and nettles, starts to fadeAnd, sapped of natural strength, cut off, forlorn,Drops by the tree from hose seed it was born So was my dearest Ursula s demise.Growing before her parents caring eyes,She d barely risen above ground when DeathFelled the dear child with his infectious breathAt our very feet Hard eyed Persephone,Were all those tears of no avail to me Lament 5, pg 35 Virtue s a trifle stricken Brutus sore.A trifle, yes, it is, and nothing Did works of piety ever mitigateOur destined pain Did good once counter fate Some enemy, indifferent to allOur mortal fault or merit, plots our fall.Where his breath blows, we cannot flee or hide Just and unjust are brought down side by side.Yet still we, in our arrogance, pretendTo higher faculties that comprehendGod s mysteries we climb to heaven, tryTo fathom its designs, but our mind s eyeProves far too weak The meanings it divinesAre not meant to be read fleet dreams, not signs .Grief, hat do you intend Am I to beRobbed first of joy, then equanimity Lament 11, pg 47 Where is that gate for grief which, long ago,Let Orpheus enter the dark realm belowIn search of his lost love My loss is suchThat I would go as far and do as muchWhere Charon poles the flood, while his boat movesThronged with pale shades he lands in cypress groves.And you, my lovely lute, do not desertYour singer no no we must both assertOur rights before stern Pluto, soften himWith songs and tears until his own eyes swimAnd he relents, and lets my dear girl goAnd come to my embrace, and end my woe.Which won t mean he ll have lost her we re all his If fruit s not ripe, you wait until it is Yet is this god so heartless that he canTurn a deaf ear to a despairing man If that is so, earth won t see me again.I ll yield my own soul, find peace and remain Lament 14, pg 53


  7. says:

    Before Pushkin and Mickiewicz arrived, Kochanowski held the laurels of greatest Slavic poet not sure if this factors in the poets of the Ragusan Renaissance, such as Ivan Gunduli But this is his reputation A product of the great but little known flurry of literary activity produced during the Polish Renaissance much of which has still not been translated into English , Kochanowskis famous laments, a reaction to the death of his baby daughter, was brought into English by none other than Seamus Heaney, the late great Irish poet Partnered with Polish Harvard academic Stanis aw Bara czak, they produced a great translation where the information transfer of Polish is carefully reconstructed into English Though Heaney isn t able to imbue his poetic elegance into his translations as effectively as his poetry, he focuses on meaning, a good compensation Overall, both translators succeed in effectively capturing the poignancy of Kochanowski s grief Paired with the original Polish poems, those who know Polish like myself are able to see what Polish was like back in the 16th century A lot of re arranging of the content was needed, but I got the sense that Bara czak and Heaney lost as little to the translation process as possible Czes aw Mi osz said that Kochanowski belongs to the greatest of world literature, but has been left out due to Polands history of translation or, to be precise, its lack of translation into other languages While I think it may well be possible to produce a vivid translation, I certainly agree that as the literature of the Western Slavs becomes properly integrated into the greater Western tradition, no attempt to do so is complete without Kochanowski And for those who want to know about Polish history and culture, Kochanowskis laments are a great addition to one s attempts, especially since this collection is short compared to Poland s other classics I m thinking the enormous novels of Henryk Sienkiewicz and Boles aw Prus Of course this is essential for any with a strong interest in the Northern Central European Renaissance.


  8. says:

    This cycle of 19 threnodes is a classic of Polish literature Breaking the norm of elegies being one song about great heroes and dedicating as many as 19 to a 3 years old daughter, he went down in history as the Father of Polish Literature This is a classic required for school, what kills the joy and closes people off from finding value in it The factors don t help the mournful topic father grieving after the loss of his 3 years old daughter he projected the idea of his writing legacy on , archaic language for us , and the references to greek mythology and philosophy.However, I enjoyed going on this journey alongside Kochanowski The language and metaphors are pretty, often innovative and thought provoking He introduced some pretty modern ideas, too, like feministic view on the harsh life of women It definitely is something worth reading, but for those willing to read thoroughly and to understand what he has to say Some classics are worth trying out, that s what I want to say, but go into them with view of the epoch they were created in.


  9. says:

    One of the most powerful texts ever written An honest, pure expression of a father s immortal love, as well as soul rending emotional agony Jan, through the centuries your cries are still heard But now your time for weeping is over It is our turn to cry for you and sweet Ursula May you both rest in peace.


  10. says:

    Ok, I decided that it was high time to finally finish this poetry collection I read it because I studied Polish literature back at my uni The prof, who was already sick at that time, was fantastic and I really loved his lessons He spoke so well of Kochanowski s Laments that I wanted to try and read it It s my very first poetry book.I read the English poetic version, the Italian super poetic translation made in 1930 and for three or four Laments I had a word for word translation made in classroom They were all very different I don t know, sometimes I feel that poetry should have both a word for word translation and a poetic one So, people would see the difference.The first poems are full of grief and pain and poor Kochanowski goes down till he reaches the bottom he even starts doubting of his own reason In the end, thanks to his mother who appears in his dreams, his faith in reason in restored and the poet is ready to face the death of another of his little girls Some say that Kochanowski wasn t really affected by the death of his baby girl and the all collection is just a ploy to achieve attention I don t want to even think about it I do prefer believing that those are the words or a grief stricken father.This edition is lacking the dedication at the beginning and the last words about Hanna s death Too bad.