Jan Kochanowski

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Jan Kochanowski

Jan Kochanowski (1530-1584) was a Polish Renaissance poet, translator and playwright.[1] He is generally regarded as one of the greatest poets in Polish literature.[2]

Biography[change | change source]

Jan Kochanowski was born into a noble family in the village of Sycyna, Poland.[1] His parents were Piotr Kochanowski, a lawyer and judge, and Anna Białaczowska.[1] Among their 11 children, two of Jan's brothers were also writers.[3] He studied at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow.[4] Then he attended the University of Königsberg (Królewiec), in Ducal Prussia, and Padua University in Italy.[2] He returned to Poland in 1559. In 1563 he became a secretary at the royal court of Sigismund II Augustus.[1] He married Dorota Podlodowska around 1575 and settled at the family estate at Czarnolas ("Blackwood").[2] Kochanowski is sometimes called "Jan z Czarnolasu" ("John of Blackwood").[2] He died of a heart attack in 1584 in the town of Lublin.[5]

Works[change | change source]

Jan Kochanowski wrote in Polish and Latin.[1] He wrote Fraszki, a cycle of epigrams, Pieśni (Cantos) and Treny (Laments).[6] The last work was written by the poet after death of his daughter Ursula.[3] He lost another daughter, named Hanna, too.[5] Kochanowski wrote also Pieśń świętojańska o Sobótce (Midsummer Night's Song) and Odprawa połów greckich (The Dismissal of the Grecian Envoys).[6] Many of his poems are free translations from Horace.[6] Kochanowski translated The Book of Psalms and Chess by Marco Girolamo Vida.[6] Kochanowski established rules of Polish versification and introduced sonnet to Polish poetry. Many poems by Kochanowski were translated into English.[7]

The translator Piotr Kochanowski was Jan Kochanowski's nephew.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Culture.PL (Adam Mickiewicz Institute). "Jan Kochanowski". http://culture.pl/en/artist/jan-kochanowski. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Jan Kochanowski". PoemHunter.Com. http://www.poemhunter.com/jan-kochanowski/biography/. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Czesław Miłosz, The History of Polish Literature (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983), pp. 60–75
  4. Jan Kochanowski at Enciclopaedia Britannica.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Biografia Jana Kochanowskiego". Sciaga.pl/. http://sciaga.pl/tekst/12490-13-biografia_jana_kochanowskiego. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Agnieszka Kwiatkowska. "Bilingualism in the Writings of Jan Kochanowski". Forum Poetyki. Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan. http://fp.amu.edu.pl/bilingualism-in-the-writings-of-jan-kochanowski/. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  7. "Jan Kochanowski (1530 - 1584)". InfoPoland. University at Buffalo, State University of New York. http://info-poland.buffalo.edu/web/arts_culture/literature/poetry/Koc/link.shtml. Retrieved 8 October 2016.

Other websites[change | change source]