2008 | 10 | 57-69
Article title

Metaforyka „późnej poezji” przełomu XX i XXI wieku

Title variants
Metaphors in „late poetry” at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries
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The poetic sphere at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries is characterized by the predominant presence of authors of the oldest generations. This is a phenomenon which has never occurred in the history of our literature on such a scale. The fact that in the 1990s and after the year 2000, apart from the poets of the youngest generation and a few middle-aged ones, authors such as Miłosz, Herbert, Różewicz, Szymborska, Hartwig, to name only those of the highest rank, were and for the most part still are creating demands that several categories in the historical and literary as well as methodological and interpretational order be rethought. There arises a need for, as it were, double reading – interpreting texts with all respect for the integrity of the poetic word, but at the same time, keeping in view the existential essence contained in it, bearing in mind the fact that “late works” coincide with the time of unmasking - autobiographic disclosure. An attempt to reconcile the requirements of the form with the need for revealing the existential truth, the presence of convention with the frankness of confession, leads to elaboration of a specific usage of metaphors in the “late poetry”, oscillating between two mutually contradictory functions – disclosing and, at the same time, protecting the sphere of intimacy, through invoking literary conventionalized forms. Among them, those particularly exposed ones are: autobiographic, confessional, prayerful, testamentary gestures, ostentatious using of clear stylistic trails, references to metaphors of the river, journey, labyrinth, or the figure of the circle. Notwithstanding the fact that the texts are predominated by metaphors of withdrawal, resignation and departure, the oldest generations' poetry strongly reacts to various aspects of the contemporary reality, joins in the rhythm of the current cultural discourse, sometimes provides a more comprehensive diagnosis of the perspectives and risks of the turn of the centuries than that found in the works of younger authors.
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