Kasprowicz, Jan(yän käsprô`vēch), 1860–1926, Polish poet. His writings progressed from social revolt (e.g., From a Peasant's Field, 1891) to poems of spiritual struggle and philosophical intensity. Among his later works are To a Dying World (1902), Ballad of the Sunflower (1908), and The Book of the Poor (1916). Highly regarded by his contemporaries, Kasprowicz was also renowned for his translations of English, French, German, and Italian classics.
Born Dec. 12, 1860, in the village of Szymborz, near Inowroclaw; died Aug. 1, 1926, in Poronin, near Zakopane. Polish poet.
The son of a poor peasant, Kasprowicz sympathized with the socialist movement in his youth. In the late 1880’s and early 1890’s he wrote realistic poetry depicting the poverty of the peasants, as in the collections Poetry (1889) and From a Peasant’s Field (1891) and in the drama The End of the World (1891). Kasprowicz sought the solution to social conflicts in the moral transformation of man, the theme of the poem Christ (1890) and other works. In the second half of the 1890’s Kasprowicz’s poetry became more symbolic, and his vision of a dying world was imbued with a sense of Promethean rebellion against god, for example, the cycles To a Dying World and Salve Regina (1902; later included in the collection Hymns, 1921). After 1905, Kasprowicz’s world view became religious and mystical, as reflected in the collections The Book of the Poor (1916) and My World (1926).
WORKSDzieta wybrane, vols. 1–4. Krakôw, 1958.
In Russian translation:
Pol’skaia poeziia XIX–XX vv, vol. 2. Moscow, 1963.
REFERENCESBogomolova, N. Ia. “Ian Kasprovich.” In Istoriia pol’skoi literatury, vol. 2. Moscow, 1969.
Loth, R. Mtodość J. Kasprowicza. Poznań, 1962.
J. Kasprowicz. Introduction, selection of materials, and annotation by R. Loth. Warsaw, 1964.
Lipski, J. J. Twörczość J. Kasprowicza w latach 1878–1891. Warsaw, 1967.
Wspomnienia o J. Kasprowiczu. Warsaw, 1967. (Bibliography on pages 422–39.)
V. A. KHOREV