Is Pan Tadeusz a metaphysical poem?

Jan Tomkowski

Abstract


Pan Tadeusz (in English: Sir Thaddeus, or the Last Lithuanian Foray) is an epic poem by Adam Mickiewicz. The book was first published in exile (Paris 1834). Adam Mickiewicz’s Pan Tadeusz
is a national poem in Poland, but some interpreters (Czesław Miłosz, Jan Lechoń, Joanna Salamon and others) suppose, that it is a metaphysical poem. “Metaphysical poetry” – what does
it mean? Literary critic Samuel Johnson coined the term “metaphysical poetry” when he wrote about a group of English poets (for example: Johne Donne, George Herbert, Thomas Traherne, Henry Vaughan). I’d like to describe the metaphysical nature of Mickiewicz’s poem (great problems: God, spirit, infinity, space, human existence). What is time and temporality in poetical vision? What about deity and human soul? What the death serves? My article is an attempt of another look at the poem.

Keywords


Polish romanticism; Adam Mickiewicz; Pan Tadeusz; metaphysical poetry

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