Polish poetry published in Brazil
PR dla Zagranicy
A volume of war-themed poems by Polish writer Anna Świrszczyńska has been published in Brazil.
Polish scouts fighting in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. Source: Anna Świrszczyńska "Swir" (1984), Budowałam Barykadę, Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie. Photo: Jerzy Tomaszewski [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Entitled Eu construia a barricada (Building the Barricade), it focuses on Świrszczyńska's wartime experience, notably her participation in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising.
A review in the popular daily O Globo says that “one cannot fail to be profoundly impressed by the terrifying beauty of Świrszczyńska’s verse.”
The poems have been translated into Portuguese by Piotr Kilanowski, a lecturer at the Federal University of the State of Parana in southern Brazil. His previous output as a translator includes works by the likes of Zbigniew Herbert, Jerzy Ficowski and Nobel Prize-winning poet Wisława Szymborska.
Świrszczyńska was born in 1909 in Warsaw. She studied medieval Polish literature. In the 1930s she worked for a teachers’ association, served as an editor, and began publishing poetry. She joined the country’s anti-Nazi resistance movement during World War II and worked as a military nurse during the Warsaw Uprising. At one point she came within an hour of being executed before she was eventually spared.
In addition to poetry, Świrszczyńska wrote plays and stories for children and directed a children’s theatre. She died from cancer in 1984.
Last year, a collection of her verse entitled Building the Barricade and Other Poems was published in Britain in a translation by Piotr Florczyk. (mk/gs)