Lec, Stanislaw Jerzy

Lec, Stanisław Jerzy


Born Mar. 6, 1909, in L’vov; died May 7, 1966, in Warsaw. Polish poet.

After graduating from the law faculty of the University of L’vov in 1933, Lec worked for leftist journals. In 1941 he was imprisoned in a fascist concentration camp. Escaping from the camp in 1943, he took part in the Resistance Movement. Lec served as an officer in the Polish Army in 1944–45. From 1946 to 1950 he held a post in the diplomatic corps.

Lecv’s first book of poems, Colors, was published in 1933. Moral and philosophical problems are the central theme of the collections Battlefield Notebook (1946) and Jerusalem Manuscript (1956). Many of his poems, particularly his satires and epigrams, present paradoxical images and ideas: the collections Zoo (1935), Passionate Satires (1936), The Cynic’s Stroll (1946), and Life’s But a Joke (1948). Lec’s later lyric poems, notably the collections To Abel and Cain (1961), The Announcement of the Search (1963), and Poems Ready to Jump (1964), contain profound philosophical and artistic insights. The aphorisms, maxims, and epigrams in Unkempt Thoughts (1957) and New Unkempt Thoughts (1964) have become famous.


Wybór wierzy. Warsaw, 1968.
In Russian translation: [Stikhi]. In Sovremennaia pol’skaia poeziia. Moscow, 1971.


Britanishskii, V. “Chelovecheskaia mudrost’ (o tvorchestve Stanislava Letsa).” Voprosy literatury, 1968, no. 8.