Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński

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First page of Rytmy abo wiersze polskie.

Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński (c. 1550 – c. 1581) was a Polish nobleman and poet. He is generally regarded as one of the most important Polish writers and the first representative of Baroque in Poland.[1]

Biography[change | change source]

Little is known about life of Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński. He was born around 1550 in the village of Zimna Woda near Lviv (today in Ukraine, then in the Kingdom of Poland). He was a member of Protestant family.[2] He was the son of Joachim Sęp called Szarzyński.[3] He studied abroad in Germany at universities of Wittemberg and of Lepzig.[4] Then he continued his studies at the University of Padua in Italy.[2]

Szarzyński is believed to have become a Roman Catholic,[2][5] but some scholars are not convinced of that.[4][6]

Szarzyński's poems were written probably in the years 1568-1581.[7] They were published by the poet's brother in 1601. The book was named Rytmy abo wiersze polskie (Rhythms or Polish Verses).

Works[change | change source]

Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński did not write many poems. All his published works can be printed on one hundred pages. He wrote in Polish and in Latin. He wrote six sonnets and some other poems, cantos and epitaphs. His poetry focuses on religious themes.[2] Thus it is similar to Sebastian Grabowiecki's work.[8]

Szarzyński shaped his sonnets according to a French scheme that is abba abba cdcd ee.[9] Julian Krzyżanowski, editor of Szarzyński's poems, points out the use of alliteration in them.[10]

Szarzyński's poems were translated into English by Steven Clancy[11] and Richard Sokoloski.[12]

References[change | change source]

  1. Błoński, Jan (2001). Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński a początki polskiego baroku (in Polish). Krakow.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  3. Jan Błoński, Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński, [in:] Literatura polska. Przewodnik encyklopedyczny, tom II N-Ż, Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe Warszawa 1985, ISBN 83-01-05369-0.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Mikołaj Sęp-Szarzyński" (in Polish). Culture.pl. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  5. Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński, Polish poet at Encyclopaedia Britannica.
  6. Mikołaj Sęp-Szarzyński at Culture.pl.
  7. Kotarski, Edmund. "Mikołaj Sęp SZARZYŃSKI" (in Polish). Virtual Library of Polish Literature. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  8. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. Fourth Edition, Princeton University Press, Princeton 2012, p.1073.
  9. Wiktor Jarosław Darasz, Mały przewodnik po wierszu polskim, Kraków 2003, p. 157-158.
  10. Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński, Rytmy abo wiersze polskie oraz cykl erotyków, wydanie 2. Opracował i wstępem poprzedził Julian Krzyżanowski, Ossolineum, Wrocław 1973.
  11. "Sonnets II and IV". The Samaritan Review. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  12. "Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński - Sonnets". Retrieved 23 October 2016.

Further reading[change | change source]

  • Czesław Miłosz, The History of Polish Literature. Second edition, University of California Press, Berkeley 1983.