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Z płyty CD „Niezapominajki“, Nula Stankiewicz o Marii Konopnickiej i jej twórczości.

Maria Konopnicka (1842-1910), uro­dzi­ła się w Su­wał­kach. Two­rzy­ła no­we­le i po­ezje, w tym po­pu­lar­ne utwo­ry dla dzie­ci. Była rów­nież ak­tyw­na jako re­dak­tor, pu­bli­cy­sta i kry­tyk li­te­rac­ki. Jej naj­bar­dziej zna­ny pseu­do­nim to Jan Sawa.

De­biu­to­wa­ła w pi­śmie Kaliszanin wier­szem Zimowy poranek (1870). Ka­li­szo­wi po­świę­ci­ła jesz­cze trzy utwo­ry (dwa o ty­tu­le Kaliszowi oraz Memu miastu).

Od roku 1877 miesz­ka­ła w War­sza­wie. W sto­li­cy Kró­le­stwa Pol­skie­go zwią­za­ła się z krę­ga­mi in­te­li­gen­cji li­be­ral­nej, m.in. współ­re­da­go­wa­ła pi­smo dla ko­biet Świt. Współ­pra­co­wa­ła rów­nież z ty­go­dni­kiem Bluszcz. Sta­ła się rów­nież ho­no­ro­wym człon­kiem To­wa­rzy­stwa Szko­ły Lu­do­wej. Lata 90. to przede wszyst­kim po­dró­że po kra­jach Eu­ro­py za­chod­niej. W roku 1903 Ko­nop­nic­ka osia­dła w dwor­ku – da­rze od na­ro­du – po­ło­żo­nym w Żar­now­cu w po­bli­żu pod­kar­pac­kie­go Kro­sna. Miesz­ka­ła tam wspól­nie z Ma­rią Du­lę­bian­ką – ma­lar­ką i pi­sar­ką, któ­ra mia­ła w dwor­ku pra­cow­nię.


Maria Konopnicka was the greatest Polish female poet from the times of realism, author of short stories and books for children, literary critic and translator. She was born on May 23rd 1842 in Suwałki and died on October 8th 1910 in Lviv.

Her texts were controversial. They sparked debates and were often harshly criticised, but at the same time, she was very popular and read by almost everyone. She didn’t only write poems, but also short stories, sketches, reportages and journalistic texts. She was a literary critic and a translator. In her works, one can find risky subjects, subtle psychological analysis, and a wealth of original narrative forms, innovation and literary skill. The poems she wrote during her stays in Italy and France are undoubtedly among her greatest achievements. She was not only a writer but also a social activist. Coping with many sacrifices, she raised six children by herself. For many years she wandered throughout Europe, though not breaking contact with her country – she was one of the main organisers of the international protest against the cruelty of Prussia towards striking children in Września.
She was the daughter of a lawyer, Józef Wasiłowski, and Scholastyka Turska, who died when Maria was only 12. Her father raised the children on his own, providing them with home-schooling. Their home was almost like a convent: they didn’t allow guests, didn’t speak merrily, and every walk with their father led to the cemetery. This atmosphere of seriousness, patriotism and strict, moral rules had a deep impact on Maria. Wasiłowski read Słowacki, Krasiński, and Mickiewicz to the children, but also his translations of the Psalms or excerpts from Pascal’s works. He acquainted them with Greek and Latin authors with Cicero and Sallustius. Between 1855 and 1856 Konopnicka studied with her sisters at a school for girls, at the convent of the sisters of the order of Saint Benedict in Warsaw, where she met Eliza Pawłowska (later: Orzeszkowa). Their friendship, grounded on common literary interests, lasted until Maria’s death.
Literary beginnings
In 1862 Maria married Jarosław Konopnicki, bearer of the Jastrzębiec coat of arms, an impoverished landowner 12 years her senior. Old Polish aristocratic customs reigned in her house – it was a life full of meetings, hunts, and noisy feasts. Konopnicka could not bear the limits imposed upon her by her husband. She didn’t want to be a dependant housewife. Jarosław, on the other hand, didn’t appreciate his wife’s literary interests when she made her debut while the marriage still lasted. After selling their ruined mansion in 1872, they moved into a leased manor in Gusin (Łódzkie voivodeship). It’s here that the poem O Górach (On the Mountains) was created. It was published in Gazeta Polska. A positive review by Henryk Sienkiewicz made the poet believe in her talent and she decided to take care of her children and of herself on her own. In 1876 she left her husband. A year later she moved to Warsaw. Knowing many languages – German, French, Russian, and later Czech, English, and Italian – she started translating, including works by Heinrich Heine, Paul Heyse, and Edmond De Amicis. In 1882 she travelled to Austria and Italy, and in 1884 in Prague, she met Czech poet Jaroslav Vrchlicky, who translated Mickiewicz’s Dziady. They started writing letters and became friends.



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