Julian Tuwim

Julian Tuwim

Julian Tuwim (the surname comes from the Hebrew "טובים," "tovim"," "good"; September 13, 1894December 27, 1953) one of the greatest Polish poets, he was born in Łódź, Congress Poland, Russian Empire and educated in Łódź and Warsaw (he studied law and philosophy at Warsaw University). In 1919 Tuwim co-founded the "Skamander" group of experimental poetswith Antoni Słonimski and Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz. He was a major figure in Polish literature, known also for his contribution to children's literature. Before the Second World War he was also known for his lyrics.

Life and work

Initially Tuwim’s poetry, even more than that of the other "Skamandrites," represented a decisive break with turn-of-the-century mannerism and decadent language; and an expression of vitality, optimism, and praise of urban life; introduction of everyday life in a city, with its triviality and vulgarism, to poetry. In his poems Tuwim often used “regular” language as well as dialogue. Characteristic for this period are collections "Czyhanie na Boga [Lurking for God] " (1918), "Sokrates tańczący [Dancing Socrates] " (1920), "Siódma jesień [The Seventh Autumn] " (1922), and "Wierszy tom czwarty [Poems. the Volume Four] " (1923).

In his later collections — "Słowa we krwi" (Words in Blood, 1926), "Rzecz Czarnoleska" (A Czarnolas Thing, 1929), "Biblia cygańska" (A Gypsy Bible, 1933) and "Treść gorejąca" (Burning Matter, 1933) — Tuwim becomes restless and bitter, and writes with fervor and vehemence of the emptiness of urban existence. He also draws more from romantic and classicist traditions, while perfecting his form and style, and becoming a virtuoso of word and language.From the very beginning and throughout his artistic career, Tuwim was satirically inclined. He supplied sketches and monologues to numerous cabarets. In his poetry and columns, he derided obscurantism and bureaucracy as well as militaristic and nationalistic trends in politics. His best satiric poem is regarded to be the burlesque, "The Ball at the Opera" ("Bal w operze"," 1936).

In 1918 Tuwim co-founded the cabaret, "Picador," and he worked as writer or artistic director with many other cabarets such as "Czarny kot [Black Cat] " 1917–1919, "Qui pro Quo" 1919–1932, "Banda [Gang] " and "Stara Banda [Old Gang] " 1932–1935 and finally "Cyrulik Warszawski [Barber of Warsaw] " 1935–1939. Since 1924 Tuwim was staff writer of "Wiadomości Literackie [Literary News] " where he wrote weekly column "Camera Obscura" as well as for satiric magazines: "Cyrulik Warszawski [Barber of Warsaw] " and "Szpilki [Pins] ".

harp wit

World War II and after

In 1939, at the beginning of World War II and Nazi Germany's occupation of Poland, Tuwim emigrated first through Romania to France, and after France’s capitulation, to Brazil, by way of Portugal, and finally to the USA, where he settled in 1942. During that time he wrote "Kwiaty Polskie [Polish Flowers] ", an outstanding epic poem in which he remembers with nostalgia, his early childhood in Łódź. In April 1944 he published a manifesto, entitled "My, Żydzi polscy" ("We, Polish Jews").

Tuwim returned to Poland after the war, in 1946, but he was not able to create under the communism system. Under pressure he had produced a few meaningless texts (poems) to pacify the regime. Some of his late moving poems, which he kept to himself, were found among his belongings after the poet's death.

He spent World War II in exile - in Romania, France, Portugal and Brazil, from where he travelled to New York in 1942. In 1939-41 he collaborated with the émigré weekly "Wiadomosci Polskie", but broke off the collaboration due to differences in views on the attitude towards the Soviet Union. In 1942-46 he worked with the monthly "Nowa Polska" published in London, and with leftist Polish-American newspapers. Affiliated to the leftists in the Polish section of the International Workers Organization from 1942. He was a member of the Association of Writers From Poland (a member of the board in 1943).

Tuwim’s other works include a collection of poems for children "Lokomotywa [Locomotive] " (1938, tr. 1940)—Julian Tuwim and Jan Brzechwa are the two most famous authors of children's poetry in Polish — and well-regarded translations of Pushkin and other Russian poets. Russian Soviet poet Yelizaveta Tarakhovskaya translated most of Tuwim's children's poetry into Russian.

Although Tuwim is well known and admired for writing poetry for children and satiric works, he also wrote many serious works. His poem "Do prostego człowieka [The Common Man] ", first published in October 7, 1929 in "Robotnik [Workman] ", had started a storm of personal attacks on Tuwim, mostly from antisemitic followers of Polish right wing criticizing Tuwim’s pacifistic views.


* "Czyhanie na Boga" ("Lurking for God", 1918)
* "Sokrates tańczący" ("Dancing Socrates", 1920)
* "Siódma jesień" ("The Seventh Autumn", 1921)
* "Wierszy tom czwarty" (1923)
* "Czary i czarty polskie" ("Sorcery and Deuces of Poland", 1924)
* "Wypisy czarnoksięskie" ("The Reader of Sorcery", 1924)
* "A to pan zna?" ("And do you know it?", 1925)
* "Czarna msza" (1925)
* "Tysiąc dziwów prawdziwych" (1925)
* "Słowa we krwi" (1926)
* "Tajemnice amuletów i talizmanów" (1926)
* "Strofy o późnym lecie"
* "Rzecz czarnoleska" (1929)
* "Jeździec miedziany" (1932)
* "Biblia cygańska i inne wiersze" (1932)
* "Jarmark rymów" (1934)
* "Polski słownik pijacki i antologia bachiczna" (1935)
* "Treść gorejąca" (1936)
* "Bal w Operze" (1936, published 1946)
* "Kwiaty polskie" (1940-1946, published 1949)
* "Pegaz dęba, czyli panoptikum poetyckie" (1950)
* "Piórem i piórkiem" (1951)

Songs to Tuwim's Poems

* Karol Szymanowski - "Słopiewnie" for voice and piano, op. 46bis (1921)
* Witold Lutosławski - "Piosenki dziecinne" (Children's Songs) (1952); "Spóźniony słowik" (The overdule nightigale, 1947), "O Panu Tralalińskim" ( About Mr. Tralalinski, 1947), for voice and piano (also arr. for orchestra)
* Krzysztof Meyer - "Quartettino" for voice, flute, cello and piano (1966); "Symphony No. 2" (1967); "Spiewy polskie" (Polish Songs) for voice and orchestra (1974)
* David Bruce (composer) - "Piosenki" for soprano, baritone and ensemble (2006) - setting of 11 songs. [http://www.davidbruce.net/works/piosenki.asp Piosenki at David Bruce's website]

Further reading

* Mortkowicz-Olczakowa, Hanna (1961). "Bunt wspomnień." Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy.

ee also

*List of Poles
*List of Polish poets

External links

* [http://oldpoetry.com/author/Julian%20Tuwim English translations of Julian Tuwim’s poetry]
** " [http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/28469-Julian-Tuwim-Polish-Flowers Polish Flowers] " ("Kwiaty polskie", translated by Frank Fox)
** " [http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/28470-Julian-Tuwim-The-Common-Man The Common Man] " ("Do prostego człowieka", 1929)
** " [http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/28471-Julian-Tuwim-The-Dancing-Socrates The Dancing Socrates] " ("Sokrates tańczący", translated by A. Gilloe)
** " [http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/28472-Julian-Tuwim-The-Locomotive The Locomotive] " ("Lokomotywa", translated by Walter Whipple)
** " [http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/98921-Julian-Tuwim-The-Saturday-Night-Song The Saturday Night Song] "
** " [http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/118918-Julian-Tuwim-Grass Grass] "
* [http://www.poema.art.pl/site/sub_199.html Julian Tuwim's poems in Poema.art.pl]

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