Jan Kochanowski (Polish: [ˈjan kɔxaˈnɔfskʲi]; 1530 – 22 August 1584) was a Polish Renaissance poet, translator and playwright. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest poets in Polish literature.
Biography[change | change source]
Jan Kochanowski was born into a noble family in the village of Sycyna, Poland. His parents were Piotr Kochanowski, a lawyer and judge, and Anna Białaczowska. Among their 11 children, two of Jan's brothers were also writers. He studied at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. Then he attended the University of Königsberg (Królewiec), in Ducal Prussia, and Padua University in Italy. He returned to Poland in 1559. In 1563 he became a secretary at the royal court of Sigismund II Augustus. He married Dorota Podlodowska around 1575 and settled at the family estate at Czarnolas ("Blackwood"). Kochanowski is sometimes called "Jan z Czarnolasu" ("John of Blackwood"). He died of a heart attack in 1584 in the town of Lublin.
Works[change | change source]
Jan Kochanowski wrote in Polish and Latin. He wrote Fraszki, a cycle of epigrams, Pieśni (Cantos) and Treny (Laments). The last work was written by the poet after death of his daughter Ursula. He lost another daughter, named Hanna, too. Kochanowski wrote also Pieśń świętojańska o Sobótce (Midsummer Night's Song) and Odprawa połów greckich (The Dismissal of the Grecian Envoys). Many of his poems are free translations from Horace. Kochanowski translated The Book of Psalms and Chess by Marco Girolamo Vida. Kochanowski established rules of Polish versification and introduced sonnet to Polish poetry. Many poems by Kochanowski were translated into English.
The translator Piotr Kochanowski was Jan Kochanowski's nephew.
References[change | change source]
- Culture.PL (Adam Mickiewicz Institute). "Jan Kochanowski". Retrieved 8 October 2016. Check date values in:
- "Jan Kochanowski". PoemHunter.Com. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- Czesław Miłosz, The History of Polish Literature (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983), pp. 60–75
- Jan Kochanowski at Enciclopaedia Britannica.
- "Biografia Jana Kochanowskiego". Sciaga.pl/. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- Agnieszka Kwiatkowska. "Bilingualism in the Writings of Jan Kochanowski". Forum Poetyki. Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- "Jan Kochanowski (1530 - 1584)". InfoPoland. University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Archived from the original on 12 January 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2016.