This writer is a riddle
One of the greatest national poets
Poet, essay writer, playwright, literature historian, professor of humanities.
Each of his books or even speeches arouses heated discussion.
Born in 1935 in Warsaw, he was first recognized at 22 for his poetry volume Conventions.
In 1967 he announced his literary creed in the book Czym jest klasycyzm. Manifesty poetyckie. [What is Classicism. Poetic Manifestos.]
The author of many collections of poems, the best known being: Thema regium (1978), Ulica Mandelsztama [Mandelsztam Street] (1983),
Moje dzieło pośmiertne [My Posthumous Work] (1993), Znak niejasny, baśń półżywa [The Sign Unclear, the Fable Half-Alive] (1999), Zachód słońca w Milanówku [Sunset in Milanówek] (2002), Wiersze polityczne [Political Poems] (2010), Pastuszek Chełmońskiego [Chełmoński’s Shepherd Boy] (2014) and, published in 2015, Koniec lata w zdziczałym ogrodzie [The End of Summer in a Garden Gone Wild].
His two novels, written in the eighties and published underground: Rozmowy polskie latem 1983 [Polish Conversations in the Summer of 1983] (1984) and Umschlagplatz (1988), met with a great interest of the readers and have been published into French, German and English.
The results of his vast work as a literature historian, Rymkiewicz included in his volumes of essays and encyclopedic writings, devoted to Mickiewicz, Słowacki, Leśmian and Fredro.
His work encompasses also historic essays, published within the recent 10 years: Wieszanie [The Hanging] (2007), Kinderszenen (2008), Samuel Zborowski (2010) as well as in the text of 1983: Wielki Książę z dodaniem rozważań o istocie i przymiotach ducha polskiego [The Grand Duke, With Some Musings on the Essence and Virtues of the Polish Spirit].
An author of dramas and comedies. A translator, among others of the poetry of Thomas S. Eliot and Wallace Stevens, Osip Mandelsztam, Federico Garcia Lorca and of the dramas of Calderon de la Barca.
Numerous awards, among others: The Kościelski Award (1967), Stanisław Vincenz Award (1984), Zygmunt Hertz Award (1986), Nike Award (2003), and in 2015: Julian Tuwim Award as well as the Literary Award of Warsaw, of which the latter he refused to accept. In 2016 he was awarded the Lech Kaczyński Award.
“Classicism is the unceasing fight for your place in culture, and thus also in the present time, it is an unceasing awareness that the past is present, it is the awareness that there is no poetical idiom of the past or of the present, because there is one great sea of poetic language beyond time, finally, it is the unceasing projection of oneself and others onto the future.”
(Czym jest klasycyzm. Manifesty poetyckie. [What is Classicism. Poetic Manifestos.])
In 2012, a documentary was created devoted to Jarosław Marek Rymkiewicz, “Poeta pozwany” [A Poet Sued], a film by Grzegorz Braun. You can watch it here: “Poeta pozwany” film
The photo in the website by courtesy of Jacek Kusiński.