Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Great Poems of the World)
0111225141-Wazyk.jpg Adam Ważyk Published by Salem Press, Inc.

A cursory glance at Adam Ważyk’s output would suggest that he was a versatile writer who practiced all principal literary forms and pursued various interests. All his major works, however, refer in one way or another to his poetry, his poetic program, or his biography as a poet. Among his novels, for example, the most important one, Epizod (1961), is an autobiographical account of his participation in Polish avant-garde movements before World War II. His insightful essays, which cover a wide range of problems from Polish versification through the history of Romanticism to French Surrealism, seem to have one common denominator: They are various versions of Ważyk’s continuous quest for his own poetic roots. His plays are a somewhat irrelevant part of his output. He attached greater importance to his numerous translations of poetry from French, Russian, and Latin into Polish, and indeed he ranks among the most outstanding Polish representatives of the art of translation. The broad scope of his interests in this field (at various times, he translated such disparate poets as Alexander Pushkin, Arthur Rimbaud, Aleksandr Blok, Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Paul Éluard, and Horace) reflects his constant search for a tradition and his changing conception of the role of poetry.