The Sarmatian Review

Jan Twardowski 1


translated by sb

Princess of Skepe2
give me your hand
protect the shy and barefooted verses
that do not chase fashions as do their critics
that respect Father Baka3 with his ridiculous clerical beard
that do not shine like a neck bejewelled
that are not rewarded with the Nobel dollars

1 Fr. Jan Twardowski (b. 1915), a Polish poet. He writes philosophical verse and children's poetry. Beloved by some and well liked by others, he is a man with no enemies. His masses and sermons attract large audiences to the church of the Visitation of Our Lady (Wizytki) on Krakowskie Przedmiescirc;cie Street in Warsaw. The poem "Królewno" comes from the volume Trzeba iscdalej, czyli spacer biedronki, Warsaw 1993.

2 A reference to the painting of Our Lady of Skepe. Skepe is a village in the Podhale region of Poland. Thousands of such Madonnas, carved or painted by local artists, grace the churches and road chapels in rural Poland.

3 Fr. Joseph Baka, SJ (1707-80), a moralistic writer and a favorite target of ridicule by the 'enlightened' segment of Polish society.

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The Sarmatian Review
Last updated 09/24/98