“Sorrow is at the Bottom of Every Poets Heart”. A Hitherto Unknown Letter by Zbigniew Herbert On Ars Poetica

Journal title

Ruch Literacki




No 1

Publication authors

Divisions of PAS

Nauki Humanistyczne i Społeczne


<jats:title>Summary</jats:title><jats:p>The unknown letter written by Zbigniew Herbert contains the review of unpublished poems by an eminent skier Barbara Grocholska-Kurkowiak. The letter has no date, it was written between February 1955 and May 1958 or between May 1960 and March 1963, most probably in the year 1961. The author of Barbarzyńca w ogrodzie (Barbarian in the Garden) explained in the letter his guidelines concerning practicing poetry. His utterance can be comprised in the categories of normative poetry. Formulating the rules of creating and analyzing the artist’s status, Herbert established the principles partially consistent with what can be found in classical lectures on literary art. Herbert’s poetics is in many cases congruent with Horace’s Letter to Pisons. Herbert’s “letter on poetry” is the testimony of how persistently the poet expressed remaining in the conviction that the patterns of tradition cannot be underestimated, but they deserve special attention, the more of it, the less humility the artist can find in the world and in himself (still having some ironic distance towards his own conformism).</jats:p>


Polska Akademia Nauk Oddział w Krakowie Komisja Historycznoliteracka ; Uniwersytet Jagielloński Wydział Polonistyki




ISSN 0035-9602