This article outlines the approach adopted by Władysław Syrokomla (the pen name of Ludwik Kondratowicz) in his translation of Latin verse and examines, by analyzing some of the poems he translated into Polish, how it worked in practice. He believed that the translator should strive for an empathic attunement to the writers voice (Einfühlung) while ‘remaining oneself’ and that abandoning ‘slavish imitation’ was the best way to animate a poem (an approach much criticized by philological authorities). These ideas are discussed in the fi rst part of the article; the second part contains analyses of his translations of Latin odes written by Maciej Sarbiewski, i.e. Ode I 19 (Ad caelestem adspirat patriam), II 3 (Ad suam testudinem), and IV 12 (Ad Ianum Libinium. Solitudinem suam excusat). Syrokomla does not engage in any intertextual games with the ancients; instead, he adapts the original to the formal and stylistic conventions of his time, most notably the Romantic concept of the poem as a projection of a poetic consciousness (‘ego’). In effect, Sarbiewski’s (neo) classical poetic personas become versions of the Romantic hero, most conspicuously in the case of Ode IV 12.
This article looks at Leopold Staff’s translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s volume of poems Fruit-Gathering (1921). A close analysis of the translator’s decisions and miscomprehensions in the Polish text – in confrontation with the French, German and English versions of the original – suggests that he made use of the English translation. The article throws light on the circumstances which led to the introduction of Tagore’s poetry to the Polish audience; reviews the main features of his poetics; and undertakes a comparative reading of the two texts, the original and its Polish rendition. The latter appears to be in many ways beholden to early 20th-century modernist taste, in particular its idealizing aesthetics and a fascination with the exotic Orient.