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   FAQ:   Halina Poświatowska (Poswiatowska) Translation Project
          by Marek Lugowski on rec.arts.poems, Usenet,
          24 October 1990 and ongoing: 2006.
          Permission is granted to reproduce this FAQ in whole.
          This file: http://mareklug.freeshell.org/HalinaFAQ/
          POLSKA WERSJA TEGO DOKUMENTU (Polish-language version):


   i. The poem texts:  HalinaFAQ Readme: The Starting Point

   I.  Reference Scheme
   Ib.  DZIELA 1-2: begun 1 Feb 2000.  DRAFT2: Completed 18 Sep 1999.
   II.  Halina Poświatowska Publisher and HalinaFAQ Contact Information
   III.  The FAQ Questions and Answers
   IV.  How to Expand or Correct the HalinaFAQ

   I.  Reference Scheme
   Two reference schemes of my translations are maintained, reflecting
   (1) the completed Selected Poems effort, DRAFT2, which is the
   successor to DRAFT that took 9 years to complete, and (2) the
   current DZIELA 1-2 ongoing effort, aimed to complete the process of
   translating the entire canon of Halina Poświatowska's poetry, as
   defined by her work published by Wydawnictwo Literackie of Krakow,
   Poland, in 1997.

   Please consider obtaining the Polish sources as they are the
   definitive reference to the Polish texts.  A selection of 100 poems
   translated by Maya Peretz has been published by Wydawnicto Literackie
   as well.  As of January 2006, I am not aware of any plans on anyone's
   part to publish more Halina Poświatowska's translations in English.

   DZIELA 1-2 translations:

   _Dziela_, Poezja 1 & 2_, (_Works, Poetry, vol. I & II_),
   Wydawnictwo Literackie: Krakow, Poland, 1997.  Annotation on Usenet
   rec.arts.poems will be in the Subject header and will be of the form:

      "Halina Poswiatowska canon in translation. Dziela II 238"

   Here,  "Dziela II" refers to the volume Poezja 2 of _Dziela_ and "238" is
   the beginning page number for the poem.  All poems are in either Dziela I
   or Dziela II.  Copyright Identification Data (CID) is cited with
   each poem's translation.  One poem is translated and made public at
   a time.

   For the DZIELA 1-2 already translated poems, see the URL above:
   i. The poem texts: HalinaFAQ Readme: The Starting Point

   DRAFT2 translations:

   The earlier translations, all of which are included in _Dziela_,
   have always been referenced with Zych page numbers, for example:
   "p. 17", where "p. 17" stands for "page 17 in _Wiersze Wybrane_
   (Selected Poems), edited by Jan Zych, Wydawnictwo Literackie:
   Krakow, 1975 (1989)".  All the poems in this source have been
   translated.  Appropriate CID accompanies each of these excerpts.

   For texts of all DRAFT2 poems, see the URL above: i. The poem texts:
   HalinaFAQ Readme: The Starting Point

   DRAFT1 translations and the obsolete MarekTrans# numbering:

   In DRAFT1, the first poem in MarekTrans translation project was indexed
   as MarekTrans#1, keeping the sequence of translation.  This numbering
   was cross-indexed with page numbering (Jan Zych's _Wiersze Wybrane_).
   Since DRAFT2 does not cite MarekTrans numbers as it proceeded in
   page order, MarekTrans# numbering is now obsolete.

   Ib.  DZIELA 1-2: begun 1 Feb 2000.  DRAFT2: Completed 18 Sep 1999.

   There appear to be 521 poems to be translated in _Dziela_ (Works).

   Of those, there appear to be 324 poems comprising _Wiersze Wybrane_
   (Selected Poems).  One poem in _Wiersze Wybrane_ was set as two:
   p. 378 and p.379.  Thus, there were 195 poems awaiting translation in
   the DZIELA 1-2 effort.  Several of these are translations by Halina
   Poświatowska of poems from other languages into Polish.  The poems in
   Zych (Selected Poems) have all been translated in two passes, DRAFT1
   and DRAFT2.  Corrections and improvements are made on an ongoing basis.

   II.  Halina Poświatowska Publisher and HalinaFAQ Contact Information:
   Author's Publisher:	        Wydawnictwo Literackie, Krakow, Poland.

   On 18 May 1998 I learned that Wydawnictwo Literackie had recently
   published a 100-poem facing-edition of english translations by Maya
   Peretz, and a two-volume _Dziela_ (Works) of Halina Poświatowska's
   poetry in its newly edited entirety.  Volumes 3 and 4 (prose and
   letters) are also out -- and adding FAQ text in October'98, I would
   like to acknowledge having access to the handsome _Dziela_ volumes,
   which I now am using as my source.  Prior to that, I translated all
   of Zych source using a 1989 copy I received as a gift in 1989 from
   Joanna Trzeciak, my Wislawa Szymborska co-translator.  I feel that
   Zych's work is important enough to deserve its own translation as a
   book and I intend to have my translation cycles satisfy this
   criterion, in scope and in poem order.  This is why the DRAFT2
   corpus is being preserved as an entity on the web site
   http://mareklug.freeshell.org/HalinaFAQ/ .

   I provide the above info and contact as a service to readers; I
   especially do not wish to imply having Wydawnictwo Literackie's
   approval, benediction, or acknowledgment of my educational, archival,
   and, most of all, informal project.

   I have not asked for rights to publish my translations as the
   goal of this project is to complete and obtain peer review for
   the translation task and to have this happen interactively on
   rec.arts.poems and by involving other interested persons.  The idea
   is to produce a high quality corpus of the entire canon of Halina
   Poświatowska's poetry as published by Wydawnictwo Literackie in
   1997, including a complete translation of the 324 poems in Jan
   Zych's edition of _Wiersze Wybrane_, all of them rendered in crisp
   everyday American English idiom of the year 2006.

   I consider publication to be a separate issue, to be considered later.

   Translator/Maintainer:       -- Marek W. Lugowski
                                5445 N. Sheridan #3003, Chicago IL 60640, USA

   HalinaFAQ and the
   translations web archive:    http://twice22.org/HalinaFAQ/ (English)
                                (po polsku)
   mirrored at:                 http://mareklug.freeshell..org/HalinaFAQ/ (English)
                                (po polsku)

   Translations Publisher:      None at this time.
                                Translations are meant to be shared pro bono
                                in the internet.

   III.  The FAQ Questions:
   1.  Who is Halina Poświatowska?

   Halina Poświatowska (Poswiatowska), maiden name Myga, is a late
   famous Polish poet.  She was born May 9, 1935, in Czestochowa,
   Poland, surviving the WWII occupation there, and went on to live in
   Czestochowa, Warsaw, and Krakow, Poland, but most unusually, also
   got her college schooling in the United States, in these unlikely
   and admirable circumstances:

   In 1958, too sick to fly by plane, she sailed to the United States on the
   Polish passenger ship M/S Stefan Batory, writing poetry all along,
   about to undergo risky and involved cardiosurgery in Philadelphia,
   paid for by donations organized by persons in Poland, Polish
   emigres in the USA and elsewhere, and communities of

   The procedure was a success; after a remarkable recovery, she
   surprised everyone and dismayed many by stubbornly choosing to
   pursue studies at an American college.  She matriculated at Smith
   College, even though not yet a speaker or reader of English; well,
   not much of one.  Halina completed her BA degree in just three
   years, graduating in 1961, then turning down fully-funded graduate
   admission to philosophy departments the likes of Stanford
   University, chose to return to Poland to face an uncertain cardiac
   and academic future, in, after all, a country ran by a totalitarian
   government, in the palpable shadow of the USSR.  But one could
   guess that Halina was an apolitical poet -- she had bigger fish to
   fry -- existence, and detecting and reporting on knowing, feeling.

   She briefly travelled in Europe, visiting friends in Paris, the
   Balkans and a few other countries.  She enrolled at the Uniwersytet
   Jagiellonski, Krakow, Poland, where she made advanced progress
   towards a doctorate in analytical philosophy.  All the while she
   wrote lucid poetry.  She was, physically, very beautiful and, I
   surmise, much loved.  At Smith her friends were the outsiders, the
   international students, the ones without "a life" or dates on the
   town.  She had spent hours at the Metropolitan, encoding much of
   what she saw into slender poems hugely questioning by minutest of
   details, by articulate warmth.  To click in with her words is to
   receive enlightment on how to pour oneself into writing via

   All her life Halina had to live with a life-threatening congenital
   heart defect, continually facing and defiantly dealing with painful
   shortness of breath, the debilitating chest pains, for long
   stretches confined to prolonged bed rest.  Yet she would leap
   stairs coming close to heart attacks.  Often rebelling, she had no
   suicidal tendencies whatsoever, and in no way shared the depressive
   profile of famous American poets.

   Halina craved life; pushed herself physically and intellectually,
   did not appear to wallow in her many misfortunes to judge from
   poems and letters and from what those who knew her say about her.
   She married a terminally ill fellow heart patient whom she met at a
   sanatorium, Adolf Poświatowski, who died only two years after they
   met.  She was resilient and original in her inventiveness of
   language, and sparse in diction, favoring no punctuation and a
   nearly exclusively lower case, as is the modern Polish poetic
   sensibility.  Her heritage looks good even against her countrymen,
   eminent poets of her generation.  We will never know how good she
   could have gotten, but I think recognition as another Polish poetry
   Nobelist is not an outrageous supposition.  The Isolde poems alone
   are among the sparsest yet most deserving works of Polish
   literature, so are the poems of mourning, or the poems of elements
   of red and gold and bee's fur and strands of sun.

   Halina died of complications after open heart surgery in Warsaw, 11
   October in 1967.  She was born on 9 May 1935.  The s in her name is
   the soft s with an accent mark and is pronounced softer than sh in
   hush, accent on the syllable before last:  ha-LEE-na po-shviat-OV-ska.

   2.  Are there any books of Halina in English?

   Wydawnictwo Literackie, Krakow, Poland, published in 1997, the 30th
   anniversary of Halina Poświatowska's death, a slim volume of 100
   translations of Halina Poświatowska's mostly short love poems in
   English translation, bilingually, in facing-page format, _wlasnie
   kocham; Indeed I Love_, by Maya Peretz.

   3.  What is a good source of info on Halina? [redone in February 2002]

   In Halina Poświatowska's own words, published posthumously in 1997,
   are volumes 3 and 4 of _Dziela_ by Wydawnictwo Literackie, Krakow,
   the original publishing house of Halina's.  _Dziela_ (Works) volume
   3 is prose, while volume 4 is her letters.  As mentioned before,
   the first two volumes collect her poetry which I hope to render in
   English, all of it, on this website.

   A new addition is a 2001 book by Grazyna Borkowska ("Nierozwazna i
   nieromantyczna, o Halinie Poświatowskiej"), a good scholarly literary
   analysis, which also contains considerable biographical detail and
   pictures of Halina, including one taken by author Jerzy Kosinski,
   in New York city.  Borkowska has a lot to say about Poświatowska's
   take on Kosinski, but the best portions of the book are her detailed
   considerations of Poświatowska's more intricate and abstract poems.

   Two biography authors are Malgorzata Szulczynska (_"nie popelnilam
   zdrady", Rzecz o Halinie Poświatowskiej_) and Mariola Pryzwan (_"ja
   mine, ty miniesz", O Halinie Poświatowskiej_).  Of the two,
   Sulczynska's treatment is more in depth and cohesive, and contains
   many photographs of Halina Poświatowska as a child with her
   parents, as well as a photocopy of her birth certificate and
   photocopies of her transcripts from Smith College.  Pryzwan's is
   more of a compendium of articles and letters, with several
   photographs, including a piece in the Metropolitan that is said to
   figure in one of Poświatowska's poems.

   4.  What were the most remarkable traits of Halina?

   Life force.  Next, she was a poet and an analytically minded
   philosopher as well as a consummate reader of just about
   everything.  Importantly, she was a true traveller.  Make no
   mistake -- under the relatively tame (for the 1990s USA) word
   choice of her poems lies a surfeit of experience and a fineness of
   language few actors ever get to deliver.  Her sensibilities were
   those of the compassionate international.  She transcended and thus
   obviated the schisms of feminism, secular humanism, nationalism,
   modernism, postmodernism, and hip hop. :) She was down-home and
   just folks and yet she could kick ass in anthropology, history,
   literature, languages, and hardcore philosophy of science.  She
   held with those who came poor and from afar.  She celebrated life.
   She was an avatar; I like to think that this is why her stuff reads
   so well in English.

		[prepared by Marek Lugowski, mostly 19 January 1998, Chicago]

   IV.  How to Expand or Correct the HalinaFAQ:
    Send questions to Marek Lugowski
    at marek@enteract.com or to:
        5445 Sheridan Road 3003
        Chicago, IL 60640
Marek Lugowski's home page

    Last modified: 2007/8/28 12:52 am CDT

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