Źródła polonofilstwa Konstantego Balmonta
The Origin of K. Balmont’s Love for Poland (on the Material of his Autobiographical Novel “Under the New Moon”)
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K. Balmont the representative of Russian symbolism had closer and deeper ties with the literature and culture of Poland, than other poets of the Russian “Silver age”. He was filled with Polishness. He had the talent to change himself completely, he could feel spiritual kinship with Polish people. He did much to create an attractive image of it in the eyes of Russian readers. Balmont translated his contemporaries – J. Kasprowicz, B. Leśmian, M. Jastrun, S. Wyspiański. He had always admired Polish romantics. He included fragment of their works into his essays with his own comments. It became a great event, when a collection of three dramatic plays by J. J. Słowacki “Balladyna”, “Lilla Veneda”, “Helion‑Eolion” (a fragment from “Samuel Zborowski”) came out in the poetic translation of Balmont. The Russian poet had often glorified in his verse and lyrical prose the Polish speech, the Polish heart, the musical genius of Chopin, the great and heroic poetry of Polish exiles that revealed the tragic fate of the enslaved Poland. Balmont’s enthusiasm about Polish culture easily infected other Russian poets – A. Bely, A. Blok. From childhood Balmont saw in his family “respect for Poland and its language”. His autobiographical novel “Under the New Moon” (1923) in many ways makes it clear how the poet got inspired with love for Poland, began to feel great sympathy for it’s people. Balmont’s mother roused his interest to poetry and music. She was an outstanding personality, wilful, artistically talented. She often played Chopin and knew Polish very well. Her character is depicted with great psychological insight. With great delicacy Balmont reveals the family secret – the story of his mother’s passionate love for a Pole – an engineer who often visited them and was friends with his mother and father. The Pole was handsome, charming, witty and talkative. His father had to tolerate the rivalry for many years. Frequent talks of Balmont – an adolescent and then a young man – with the Pole about the most urgent topical problems had a profound influence upon the views and inclinations of the future poet. The novel about a very special family atmosphere and the poet’s growing creative maturity shows in a most poetical manner the way the talented poet, translator and critic first acquired his interest for Polish culture, music, “captivating Polish speech”.
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