Adam Wazyk (November 17, 1905 - August 13, 1982)
Born: 17th November, 1905
Died: 13th August, 1982
Nationality: Polish author
Region: Warsaw, Poland
Notable works: "Oczy i usta", "Semafory"

Adam Wazyk Facts

Biography

Adam Wazyk, (born November 17, 1905, Warsaw, Poland, Russian Empire [now in Poland]--died August 13, 1982, Warsaw), Polish poet and novelist who began his career as a propagandist for Stalinism but ended as one of its opponents.

Wazyk's earliest volumes of poetry, Semafory (1924; "Semaphores") and Oczy i usta (1926; "Eyes and Lips"), were written between the ages of 17 and 20 and reflect the instability of life in Poland after World War I and the pervasive sense of loss left in its wake. Wazyk was closely associated with Polish avant-garde poetry and, at the same time, leftist politics. At the beginning of World War II he was among the most active supporters in Lwow (now Lviv, Ukraine) of the Soviet regime, and later on he became a semiofficial authority on literature under the new regime. After his return to Poland, Wazyk devoted himself to the communist cause. Named the "poet laureate of the 'People's Poland,' " he was also the editor from 1946 to 1950 of Kuznica ("The Anvil") and from 1950 to 1954 of the literary journal Tworczosc.

In the mid-1950s Wazyk was sent to Krakow to write an article about a nearby industrial town. His observations there led him to become a fierce opponent of Stalin, and these feelings were expressed in "Poemat dla doroslych" (1955; "A Poem for Adults," partial Eng. trans. by Paul Mayewski, in Adam Gillon and Ludwik Krzyzanowski [eds.], Introduction to Modern Polish Literature), published in a literary weekly, Nowa Kultura. This poem in 15 parts makes a plea for freedom and in one of many powerful images refers to people being forced to swallow brine they are told is lemonade. The poem had a huge political impact; although the government tried to suppress it, copies were passed from hand to hand in Poland and Hungary, students rioted, and Wazyk gained notoriety as a dissident poet.

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