Other Literary Forms
The earliest literary activity of Zygmunt Krasiski was devoted to the composition of historical novels, in which he imitated the narrative techniques of Sir Walter Scott. The finest of these youthful endeavors is the novel Agaj-Han (1833). The eponymous hero of this tragic romance—set in the early seventeenth century, when Poland temporarily held military superiority over the Muscovites and its forces actually occupied the Kremlin for a brief period—is a Tartar chieftain who is in love with the Polish wife of one of the Russian czars. Immediately after the publication of this novel, Krasiski proceeded to write two plays in quick succession. Despite the critical acclaim for both these works, Krasiski abandoned the dramatic genre in favor of composing discourses in prose and works of poetry. The patriotic and religious themes that he set forth in prose are, for the most part, reiterated to greater effect in his poetry. Among the most important poems are Trzy myli pozostale po .p. Henryku Ligenzie (1841; three thoughts left behind by the late Henry Ligenza), Przedwit (1843; dawn), Psalmy przyszoci (1845; psalms of the future), Ostatni (1847; the last), and Niedokoczony poemat (1852; the unfinished poem). Some of the best prose that Krasiski ever wrote is, moreover, to be found in his extensive correspondence, especially in those letters written to his father and to Delfina Potocka. Also noteworthy is the correspondence that he conducted in French with his English friend Henry Reeve between the years 1830 and 1838.