Sorry. Get a new browser.

Mr. Cogito Classics Polish Experience Essences
Zbigniew Herbert (1924 -1998), fighter in the Polish Resistance during World War II,  is perhaps the most philosophical and intellectual poet of the Polish Great Three. His work, especially  his famous Cogito cycle, was certainly worth another Nobel Prize. It is, sadly, too late for that now: Herbert died recently, after a long and debilitating disease, in a Warsaw hospital. Involved, in his last years, in a bitter (political, not poetical) argument with Milosz on the limits of collaboration and resistance with the communist regime, and on the effects of 50 years of totalitarianism on the Polish society and its morality, he came under heavy fire from the Polish left and its allies. None of this criticism ever touched his poetry, of which he remains an unchallenged master. For Herbert's is probably the clearest expression of his nation's experience presented, in his poetry, with a "historical irony." He often blends it with Classical imagery, a logical consequence of his extensive Humanist education, and with a view of history as more than "just a senseless repetition of crimes and illusions."   zherbert.jpg (6328 bytes)


©2000 Jan Rybicki
This page was last updated on 02/12/01 .