Monday, 17 February 2014

Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska - Polish (1891 - 1945)

During the First World War Poland did not exist as the country we know in the 21st Century – back then, Poland was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire

Maria was a poet, playwright and painter, known as the “queen of lyrical poetry” and “Poland’s Sappho”.

Maria was born Maria Kossak into a family of noble origin.  Both her parents were renowned, respected artists who painted military subjects.  Maria was educated privately at home and studied English, French and German, becoming fluent in all three languages.   She painted and wrote poetry from an early age.

In 1915, Maria married Wladyslaw Bzowski, an officer in the Austrian Army but the marriage did not last long and was annulled.

In 1919, Maria married Jan Pawlikowski, a writer, after which her literary career began in earnest.   Her first volume of poetry – “Blue Almonds” - was published in 1922.   By 1929 that marriage had also failed and was annulled.

In 1924, Maria began writing plays and published her second volume of poetry – “Pink Magic”,  which she illustrated herself.  In 1931 she married Stefan Jasnorzewski, an officer in the Polish Air Force.   Maria was awarded the Goldel Laurel of the Polish Academy of Literature in 1935 and the Cracow Literary Prize in 1937.

The couple moved to England at the beginning of the Second World War settling in Blackpool, Lancashire. Maria became seriously ill, had two operations in hospital in Manchester and died on 9th July 1945.   She is buried at Chorlton cum Hardy Cemetery in Manchester and the headstone was funded by the Union of Polish Writers Abroad.

 Source:  Wikipedia   Photo from Google Images

Comment from Penelope Monkhouse, 18th February 2014:

“… it should be noted that only part (Galicia) of present Poland was in the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time of the First World War. Part was in the Russian Empire and another part in Prussia… Poland was divided up amongst the three powers in the late 18th century.    At the congress of Vienna in 1815, Poland was reconstituted but remained under Russian administration until 1918.”

Penelope Monkhouse is a German-British scientist living in Schwetzingen in Germany and a granddaughter of the novelist, dramatist and literary critic Allan Monkhouse.

Literature of the early 20th century is currently one of Penelope’s chief non-scientific interests and she is engaged on a comparative study of German and English poetry of this period.  Penelope also writes poetry of her own and translates poetry to and from German and English.