Wincenty Pol (20 April 1807 – 2 December 1872) was a Polish poet and
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Etching from a photograph, by
Adolf Piwarski (1862)
Pol was born in
Lublin (then in Galicia), to Franz Pohl (or Poll), a
German in the Austrian service, and his wife Eleonora Longchamps de
Berier, from a French family living in Poland. Pol fought in the
Polish army in the November 1830 Uprising and participated in the 1848
revolution. In spite of his mixed family background, he considered
himself a Pole, so much so that he changed his surname to Pol.
He was interned in
Königsberg (Królewiec) after the fall of the
November Uprising in Russian partition of Poland. He enrolled at
the University but soon became embroiled in controversy, for his
anti-Tsarist agitation. While Pol was defended by German speaking
Peter von Bohlen
Peter von Bohlen and Friedrich Wilhelm Schubert, he left
Prussia and continued his exile in France. While in exile Pol worked
on his first poems in tribute to the heroism of the insurgents, issued
later in the set of "Songs of Janusz".
Although he had no formal education in geography, during his travels
in Polish lands he wrote several books on this subject, and in 1849
was appointed professor at the
Jagiellonian University in Cracow.
He wrote a fine descriptive work, Obrazy z życia i podróży
(Pictures of Life and Travel), and also a poem Pieśń o ziemi naszej
(Song of our Land). In 1855 he published Mohort, a poem relating to
the times of Stanisław August Poniatowski. His earlier Songs of
Janusz (1836) inspired
Frédéric Chopin to write a number of Polish
songs, but only one survives.
Pol was probably first to introduce into Polish literature the term
"Kresy" to describe the territories lying near the eastern frontiers
of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
He died in Kraków. Pol was interred in Kraków's historic Skałka
Church, a mini-pantheon of Polish scientists, writers and artists,
especially from the
List of Poles
^ Mann, Maurycy (1904). Wincenty Pol: studjum biograficzno-krytyczne.
Gebethner. p. 199.
^ Wrzesiński, Wojciech; Achremczyk, Stanisław (1993). Królewiec a
Polska: praca zbiorowa. Ośrodek Badań Naukowych. p. 118.
A selection of Wincenty Pol's poems, in English, German and Polish
A Poet from Lublin
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