Three Bards

Last updated
The Three Bards of the Polish Romantic literature

The Three Bards (Polish : trzej wieszcze, IPA:  [ˈtʂɛj ˈvjɛʂt͡ʂɛ] ) are the national poets of Polish Romantic literature. They lived and worked in exile during the partitions of Poland which ended the existence of the Polish sovereign state. Their tragic poetical plays and epic poetry written in the aftermath of the 1830 Uprising against the Russian rulership, revolved around the Polish struggle for independence from foreign powers. [1] [2] [3]

Contents

Meaning

Wieszcz means prophet or soothsayer in the Polish language. Therefore, the Three Bards were thought to not only voice Polish national sentiments but also to foresee the nation's future. Originally, the term Three Bards was used almost exclusively to denote Adam Mickiewicz (1798–1855), Juliusz Słowacki (1809–1849) and Zygmunt Krasiński (1812–1859).

In a rough classification of the members of this brilliant triad, Mickiewicz, the master of the epic and lyric, may be called the poet of the present; Krasiński, the prophet and seer, the poet through whom the future spoke; while Słowacki, the dramatist, was the panegyrist of the past. [4]

History

Cyprian Norwid Jozef Loskoczynski - Cyprian Norwid (grayscale).jpg
Cyprian Norwid

The concept of a bard was a Polish approximation of the Ancient Latin term poeta vates, denoting a poet to whom the gods granted the ability to foresee the future. Imported to Poland in the 16th century along with many other Sarmatist ideas, initially the term wieszcz was used to denote various poets. However, with the advent of Romanticism in the 19th century, the term started to be applied almost exclusively to denote Adam Mickiewicz, Juliusz Słowacki and Zygmunt Krasiński. Though the poets did not form a particular poetic group or movement, all of them started to be seen as moral leaders of a nation deprived of political freedom. They also often used the local folklore, which somehow linked the term wieszcz with folk wisemen, often found in legends and folk tales.

After the failed second revolt against the Russian Empire known as the January Uprising, and especially in the 1870s, the term was used only to denote the three mentioned poets. However, in the early 20th century the rediscovery of the works of Cyprian Kamil Norwid (1821–1883) gained him the name of the fourth bard. Some literary critics of the late 20th–century Poland were skeptical as to the value of Krasiński's work and considered Norwid to be the Third bard instead of Fourth. Other literary critics mainly from between the World Wars claimed Stanisław Wyspiański to be the fourth. However, the group referred to as the bards or wieszcze almost always consists of only three out of five candidates.

See also

Notes and references

  1. Mesjanizm, historiozofia i symbolika w "Dziadach" cz.III Archived 2012-03-03 at the Wayback Machine eSzkola.pl 2004-2009: "Widzenie księdza Piotra."
  2. Dennis P. Hupchick Conflict and chaos in Eastern Europe, 1995 - 322 pages- Page 204
  3. Dr. Waldemar Chrostowski, Academy of Catholic Theology in Warsaw, Poland; THE SUFFERING, CHOSENNESS AND MISSION OF THE POLISH NATION, OPREE, Vol. X, Nos. 3 and 6.
  4. Charles Dudley Warner; Lucia Isabella Gilbert Runkle; Hamilton Wright Mabie; George H. Warner (1902). Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern: A-Z. J. A. Hill & company. pp. 13508–13510. Retrieved 14 February 2011.

Related Research Articles

Polish literature literary tradition of Poland

Polish literature is the literary tradition of Poland. Most Polish literature has been written in the Polish language, though other languages used in Poland over the centuries have also contributed to Polish literary traditions, including Latin, Yiddish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, German and Esperanto. According to Czesław Miłosz, for centuries Polish literature focused more on drama and poetic self-expression than on fiction. The reasons were manifold, but mostly rested on historical circumstances of the nation. Polish writers typically have had a more profound range of choices to motivate them to write, including historical cataclysms of extraordinary violence that swept Poland ; but also, Poland's own collective incongruities demanding adequate reaction from the writing communities of any given period.

Adam Mickiewicz Polish national poet, dramatist, essayist, publicist, translator, and political activist

Adam Bernard Mickiewicz was a Polish poet, dramatist, essayist, publicist, translator, professor of Slavic literature, and political activist. He is regarded as national poet in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. A principal figure in Polish Romanticism, he is counted as one of Poland's "Three Bards" and is widely regarded as Poland's greatest poet. He is also considered one of the greatest Slavic and European poets and has been dubbed a "Slavic bard". A leading Romantic dramatist, he has been compared in Poland and Europe to Byron and Goethe.

Cyprian Norwid Polish poet, dramatist, painter, and sculptor (1821-1883)

Cyprian Kamil Norwid, a.k.a. Cyprian Konstanty Norwid, was a nationally esteemed Polish poet, dramatist, painter, and sculptor. He was born in the Masovian village of Laskowo-Głuchy near Warsaw. One of his maternal ancestors was the Polish King John III Sobieski.

Great Emigration emigration of the elite from Poland in the 19th century

The Great Emigration involved the emigration of thousands of Poles, particularly from the political and cultural élites, from 1831 to 1870, after the failure of the November Uprising of 1830-1831 and of other uprisings. The term "Great Emigration" is somewhat misleading, as the number of political exiles did not exceed more than 6,000 during this time. The exiles included soldiers and officers of the uprising, members of the Sejm of Congress Poland of 1830–31, and several prisoners-of-war who escaped from captivity.

Zygmunt Krasiński One of Polands three national bards

Zygmunt Krasiński was a Polish nationalist poet traditionally ranked with Adam Mickiewicz and Juliusz Słowacki as one of Poland's Three Bards – the trio of Romantic poets who influenced national consciousness in the period of Poland's political bondage. He was the most famous member of the aristocratic Krasiński family.

Juliusz Słowacki Polish poet

Juliusz Słowacki was a Polish Romantic poet. He is considered one of the "Three Bards" of Polish literature — a major figure in the Polish Romantic period, and the father of modern Polish drama. His works often feature elements of Slavic pagan traditions, Polish history, mysticism and orientalism. His style includes the employment of neologisms and irony. His primary genre was the drama, but he also wrote lyric poetry. His most popular works include the dramas Kordian and Balladyna and the poems Beniowski, Testament mój and Anhelli.

Antoni Lange Polish writer and philosopher

Antoni Lange was a Polish poet, philosopher, polyglot, writer, novelist, science-writer, reporter and translator. A representative of Polish Parnassianism and symbolism, he is also regarded as belonging to the Decadent movement. He was an expert on Romanticism, French literature and a popularizer of Eastern cultures. His most popular novel is Miranda.

Romanticism in Poland, a literary, artistic and intellectual period in the evolution of Polish culture, began around 1820, coinciding with the publication of Adam Mickiewicz's first poems in 1822. It ended with the suppression of the January 1863 Uprising against the Russian Empire in 1864. The latter event ushered in a new era in Polish culture known as Positivism.

Józef Kallenbach Polish historian

Józef Henryk Kallenbach - a Polish historian of literature.

Juliusz Słowacki Theatre theater in Krakow, Poland

Juliusz Słowacki Theatre is a 19th-century Eclectic theatre-opera house in the heart of Kraków, Poland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Erected in 1893, it was modeled after some of the best European Baroque and Eclectic theatres such as the Palais Garnier in Paris. The theatre was named after Polish poet Juliusz Słowacki in 1909 and in 1978 was inscribed alongside the Historic Centre of Kraków into the World Heritage Register.

Polish poetry has a centuries-old history, similar to the Polish literature.

Zygmunt Rumel Polish poet

Zygmunt Jan Rumel was a Polish poet and, during World War II, underground officer of the Bataliony Chłopskie partisans in the Wolhynia Region of the Second Polish Republic. Rumel's poetic talent was acknowledged by renowned Polish poet Leopold Staff and dramatist Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz. One of his poems entitled "Dwie matki" in which Rumel described his love of Poland and Ukraine, was published in a popular Płomyk magazine in 1935. He was killed by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army during the massacres of Poles in Volhynia in 1943.

<i>Kordian</i> 1834 poem written by Juliusz Słowacki

Kordian is a drama written in 1833, and published in 1834, by Juliusz Słowacki, one of the "Three Bards" of Polish literature. Kordian is one of the most notable works of Polish Romanticism and drama, and is considered one of Słowacki's best works.

Wernyhora is a legendary 18th century Cossack bard (bandurist) who prophetized the fall of Poland and its subsequent rebirth and flourishing, "from Black to White sea".

Altenberg Publishing family business in Poland

Altenberg Publishing was a Polish publishing house active from 1880 until 1934; first, in the partitioned and later in sovereign Poland. It specialized in publishing high-quality book prints and illustrated albums.

Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Warsaw Church in Warsaw, Poland

The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a Roman Catholic church located at 80 Solidarności Avenue in Warsaw.

Henryk Biegeleisen Polish historian

Henryk Biegeleisen (1855–1934) was a Polish historian, literary critic, publisher, journalist, and ethnographer specializing in the history of Polish literature from the sixteenth through the nineteenth century. His greatest accomplishment in the field of publishing included a series of books devoted to Romanticism in Poland. He prepared annotated editions of works of the Polish national bards: Adam Mickiewicz, Juliusz Słowacki, and Zygmunt Krasiński.

<i>The Undivine Comedy</i>

The Undivine Comedy or The Un-divine Comedy, also The Non-Divine Comedy, is a play written by Polish Romantic poet Zygmunt Krasiński in 1833, published anonymously in 1835. Its main theme is sociopolitical conflict – in Krasiński's words, "[between] aristocracy and democracy". It is Krasiński's best-known work and is regarded as one of the most important works of Polish Romantic literature.