2020 Polish poems in English
in one very special book!
123 Polish language authors, including all five
Nobel Prize winners:
Czesław Miłosz (1980)
Władysław Reymont (1924)
Henryk Sienkiewicz (1905)
Wisława Szymborska (1996)
Olga Tokarczuk (2018)
Between the years 2009 and 2019 I translated over a thousand verses (poems and songs) by Polish authors, both classic and contemporary...
So now, in the year 2020 I have used that resource to create one super-anthology of Polish poetry and song in translation...
2020 poems and songs in both Polish and English - to help shed light on culture and language in the dark times we find ourselves in...
Click on the button below to download the complete catalogue of all 1010 original Polish works and the artists who created them in Our Great Book of Poland - which I then had the great privilege and pleasure of translating into English
Marek Kazmierski, translator & founder of Give The World Academy
“Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are all noble pursuits, and necessary to sustain life...
But poetry, beauty, romance, love,
these are what we stay alive for.”
John Keating, Dead Poets Society (1989)
In 1989, a group of Irish poets began compiling The Great Book of Ireland (wiki). Completed in 1991, bought by University College Cork for $1 million in 2013 – this “huge volume of 250 pages... brings together the work of 121 artists, 143 poets and 9 composers who painted, drew and wrote directly on the vellum.”
Stored at Boole Library in a specially sealed and protected space, The Great Book of Ireland remains inaccessible to the general public (it has not yet been transcribed or digitised).
Marek Kazmierski (wiki) had the unique opportunity to see and touch The Great Book of Ireland in 2017, when acting as host of the International Festival of Poetry in Cork. Inspired by the experience, he has spent the last three years developing a project based on this landmark manuscript.
The original plan was to produce a similar volume of poetry in 2018 – the 100th anniversary of Poland's restoration to world maps following 123 years of partitions. The book was to contain 100 poems (50 in the original Polish, 50 in English translations), alas, much like The Great Book of Ireland, its development was delayed by a range of external factors.
In 2020, Our Great Book Of Poland becomes a collection of 1010 Polish verses translated into English, making a total of 2020 individual texts – the largest such selection of translated poetry in the world... not called “The” but “Our” Great Book Of Poland, because it doesn't claim to or aspire to be in any way complete or defining – it belongs to us all – the authors (for whom it provides exposure), for readers (who will soon be able to access it in a range of ways all over the world), for Poles (who can take both pride and pleasure in all it represents) and for myself, being the culmination of a lifetime's work... and then some.
Published in several digital formats – recorded and broadcast via the internet... distributed as a PDF format EEBook (Everlasting Eco Book, link), this publication will be accessible to all around the world with an internet connection, and can be edited and expanded at a moment's notice.
For the time being, however... much like the Great Book of Ireland
ONLY ONE COPY of OUR GREAT BOOK OF POLAND exists
2208 pages of printed A4 text, featuring
2020 unique poems and songs in a single volume, split between
1010 original Polish poems and songs all translated into
1010 new English verses, covering
605 years of poetry and song (including the first ever poem published in Polish), the longest at
150 pages of epic rhymed poetry (Dorota Masłowska's INNI LUDZIE), including in total the work of
123 Polish authors, the complete collection weighing in at
27 kgs, decorated using silver, gold, amber and wood from the Chopin family estate, stored in
3 antique travelling trunks from England and Poland, all
2020 verses compiled in a
Single Decade by