Laments: A Bilingual Edition

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9780374182908: Laments: A Bilingual Edition

The work of one of the greatest poets of the sixteenth century, Laments has been beautifully rendered by contemporary poets Stanislaw Baranczak and Seamus Heaney. This poignant series of poems on the death of Kochanowski's young daughter is surprisingly intimate and domestic in nature, expressing a candid grief and an undeniably modern sense of humiliation and religious doubt.

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Language Notes:

Text: English, Polish (translation)
Original Language: Polish

From Booklist:

One of Poland's foremost contemporary poets and Ireland's most famous living bard offer a collaborative translation, with the original Polish on facing pages, of Poland's first supreme contribution to world literature. The Treny or Laments of Jan Kochanowski (1530^-84) mourn the death of his 30-month-old youngest daughter, defying poetic tradition by doing so, for such elegies were reserved for the mighty and famous. They also show the quintessential Renaissance scholar-poet struggling with the stoicism enjoined by classical philosophy because it simply did not answer his grief. At last, in a dream of his mother holding the lost child, Kochanowski receives Christian consolation in eternal life and in the acceptance of "time's great remedy . . . The wax / And wane of things, and nothing more" while he lives. An elegy as great as Milton's Lycidas and Whitman's "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed," Laments exerts a more poignant appeal because it commemorates a child. Ray Olson

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Kochanowski, Jan
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