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2007 | 14 | 1(27) | 165-171

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Ovid's 'Metamorphoses' include a great hymn to the God of Dream who appeared to people in various forms, also illusory ones. In later European literature this myth was referred to by Ludovico Ariosto, and in Polish literature at the beginning of the 17th century by Szymon Zimorowic in his song of Bineda ('Roksolanki'). In its first, mythological and poetical part the song describes - after the 'Metamorphoses' by Ovid - the cave of dream. The song of Bineda, with its thick metaphors, presents mute pictures, lunatic, before or outside words, as thought they were mirror images, without sound. The poem's imagery is of symbolic, universal character, it does not operate with elements of the reality, either geographical or cultural ones, although it may refer to it. The poet transfers us to a world of pure associations of thoughts, imaginary and mental forms. He tells us about a couple of lovers who got to know each other and fell in love in their sleep. The ultimate subject, however, is love, variously expressed by the poet who gives it diverse poetical shapes. There are also present in here clear references to the solar model of the universe. In Kochanowski's 'Fraszki' the caring Sun is impersonated by the linden of Czarnolas which also sends sweet, tranquil and safe sleep, sensual sleep with no dreams, symbolising the theme of love. Dreams could be sweeten only by a total oblivion, extraexistential amnesia, since the dream mirrors the reality. The dreams in Zimorowic are, like in the Czarnolas poetry, sweet, but they are different dreams - they are dreams of people who are separated from time, thus from knowledge, consciousness, cognizance, who are literally 'plunged in sleep', as if in the depths or abyss which is the cave of dreams. The land of dreams is similarly depicted by Ariosto. The song of Bineda from the 'Roksolanki' by Zimorowic is a poem deprived of sunshine and light. The sun is inherent to the structure of the dream topos, but it is in an other reality or outside the place with the sleeping person or persons. And this is to be seen in Zimorowic, who drew on both Ovid and Ariosto, as well as other poets.


  • N. Kornillowicz, no address given, contact the journal editor


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