Leopold Staff

Leopold Henryk Staff (November 14, 1878 – May 31, 1957) was a Polish poet; one of the greatest artists of European modernism twice granted the Degree of Doctor honoris causa by universities in Warsaw and in Kraków. He was also nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature by Polish PEN Club.[1] Representative of classicism and symbolism in the poetry of Young Poland, he was an author of many philosophical poems influenced by the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, the ideas of Franciscan order as well as paradoxes of Christianity.

Leopold Staff
Leopold Staff pocztówka (cropped)
BornLeopold Staff
14 November 1878
Lemberg, Austrian partition
Died31 May 1957 (aged 78)
Skarżysko-Kamienna, Poland


Staff was born in Lwów (then in the Austrian partition; now Lviv, Ukraine) during the military partitions of Poland. He was one of three children of the local confectioner of Czech origin. He studied law and philosophy at the Lwów University, and in 1918 settled in Warsaw at the cusp of Poland's return to independence. He died at the age of 78 in Skarżysko-Kamienna soon after the end of Stalinism in postwar Poland, and was buried in Warsaw at the renowned Powązki Cemetery.[2]

Staff was highly influential in the interwar period, including in the literary life of Julian Tuwim, one of Poland's best-known poets. He served as vice-president of the Polish Academy of Literature since 1933, and since 1949 resided in Warsaw.[2]

Literary career

Staff's writing can be divided into three periods: Young Poland until 1918, Interwar period (1918–39), and postwar Poland (following the end of World War II).

In the early 20th century, Staff became probably the most famous and influential Polish poet. He called his popularity a retiring, soft glory. He was also the main role-model for Polish group of experimental poets named Skamander (founded in 1918). In the 1950s, he moved to blank verse in line with the ideals of Polish avant-garde.

Some of his best-known short poems include The Bridge ("Most"), Foundations ("Podwaliny", transl. by Czesław Miłosz), and Three Towns ("Trzy miasta", 1954).


  1. ^ Paweł Goźliński (2002-10-10). "Inni nominowani Polacy: 1950, Leopold Staff". Gazeta Wyborcza. Archived from the original (Reprint) on February 1, 2012. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Leopold Staff – biografia". Kulturalna Polska Klp.pl. Retrieved November 5, 2012.

External links



was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar, the 1878th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 878th year of the 2nd millennium, the 78th year of the 19th century, and the 9th year of the 1870s decade. As of the start of 1878, the Gregorian calendar was

12 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.


An amphibrach () is a metrical foot used in Latin and Greek prosody. It consists of a long syllable between two short syllables. The word comes from the Greek ἀμφίβραχυς, amphíbrakhys, "short on both sides".

In English accentual-syllabic poetry, an amphibrach is a stressed syllable surrounded by two unstressed syllables. It is rarely used as the overall meter of a poem, usually appearing only in a small amount of humorous poetry, children's poetry, and experimental poems. The individual amphibrachic foot often appears as a variant within, for instance, anapaestic meter.

It is the main foot used in the construction of the limerick, as in "There once was / a girl from / Nantucket." It was also used by the Victorians for narrative poetry, e.g. Samuel Woodworth's "The Old Oaken Bucket" beginning "How dear to / my heart are / the scenes of / my childhood." W.H. Auden's "Oh Where Are You Going" is a more recent and slightly less metrically-regular example. The amphibrach is also often used in ballads and light verse, such as the hypermetrical lines of Sir John Betjeman's "Meditation on the A30".

Amphibrachs are a staple meter of Russian poetry. A common variation in an amphibrachic line, in both Russian and English, is to end the line with an iamb, as Thomas Hardy does in "The Ruined Maid": "Oh did n't / you know I'd / been ru in'd / said she".Some books by Dr. Seuss contain many lines written in amphibrachs, such as these from If I Ran the Circus:

All ready / to put up / the tents for / my circus.

I think I / will call it / the Circus / McGurkus.And NOW comes / an act of / Enormous / Enormance!

No former / performer's / performed this / performance!Much of Leonard Cohen's song "Famous Blue Raincoat"

is written in amphibrachs - e.g. the first verse (apart from the first foot of the third line, which is a spondee):

It's four in / the morning, / the end of / December

I'm writing / you now just / to see if / you're better

New York / is cold, but / I like where / I'm living

There's music / on Clinton / Street all through / the evening.Amphibrachic metre is very popular in Polish literature. It can be found in romantic poetry in some works by Adam Mickiewicz and Juliusz Słowacki. The best known example is Deszcz jesienny (Autumn rain) by Leopold Staff. Amfibrachus is believed to be suitable for lullabies. Usually Polish amfibrachic lines have feminine ending (for example tetrametre sSssSssSssSs) but some poets experiment with masculine lines. In the poem Walc (The waltz) by Czesław Miłosz the first line is sSssSssSssSs and the second sSssSssSssS, and so on. Jan Bolesław Ożóg experimented with irregular amphibrachic verse with different number of feet in succeeding lines. An example of this way of making verse is the poem Jemioła (Mistletoe), included in the book with the same title (1966).

Czechs in Poland

According to the 2011 census, there were 3,447 ethnic Czechs in Poland, up from 386 in 2002.

Most of them reside in and around Zelów (81, in Łódź Voivodeship), in the Czech Corner within the southwest portion of Kłodzko County (47, in Lower Silesian Voivodeship) and in the Polish sections of Cieszyn Silesia (61). Some live in Warsaw.

Prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, there was a larger population of Czechs living in Poland, especially in the region surrounding Zelów (forming a majority in the county) as well as in Wołyń Voivodeship (1.5%). After the war the Czechs of Wołyń were expelled by the Soviet Union, and forcibly resettled in Czechoslovakia.

Głos (1886–1905)

Głos (The Voice; Polish pronunciation: [ˈɡwɔs]) was a Polish language social, literary and political weekly review published in Warsaw between 1886 and 1905. It was one of the leading journals of the Polish positivist movement. Many of the most renowned Polish writers published their novels in Głos, which also became a tribune of the naturalist literary movement of late 19th century. During the Revolution of 1905 it was closed down by tsarist authorities.

The literary section published works by some of the most renowned Polish writers and poets of the epoch, including Adolf Dygasiński, Jan Kasprowicz, Bolesław Leśmian, Maria Konopnicka, Władysław Orkan, Eliza Orzeszkowa, Wacław Sieroszewski, Stanisław Przybyszewski and Leopold Staff. Głos also frequently published translated literary works of contemporary foreign writers. Among the notable journalists of the weekly was also Janusz Korczak who authored numerous editorials, reportages and feuilletons, as well as had one of his novels published there in 1904 and 1905.

Leo Yankevich

Leo Yankevich (30 October 1961 - 11 December 2018) was an American poet and the editor of The New Formalist.

List of Polish-language poets

List of poets who have written much of their poetry in the Polish language. See also Discussion Page for additional poets not listed here.

There have been four Polish Nobel Prize laureates in literature: Henryk Sienkiewicz, Władysław Reymont, Czesław Miłosz, Wisława Szymborska. The last two have been poets.

Ludwika Wawrzyńska

Ludwika Wawrzyńska (Polish pronunciation: [ludˈvʲika vavˈʐɨɲska]; 1908-1955) was a Polish teacher who worked at an elementary school in Warsaw. On February 8, 1955 she rescued four children from a burning house where they had been locked by their parents as they were leaving for work. She died ten days later, on February 18, from severe burns.

Wawrzyńska acquired a hero status in Poland and became a symbol of selfless sacrifice. She was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. Wisława Szymborska and Leopold Staff wrote poems in her praise. Several Polish schools are named after her.


Lviv (Ukrainian: Львів [lʲʋiu̯] (listen); Russian: Львов Lvov [lʲvof]; Polish: Lwów [lvuf] (listen); German: Lemberg; Latin: Leopolis; see also other names) is the largest city in western Ukraine and the seventh-largest city in the country overall, with a population of around 728,350 as of 2016. Lviv is one of the main cultural centres of Ukraine.

Named in honour of Leo, the eldest son of Daniel, King of Ruthenia, it was the capital of the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia (also called the Kingdom of Ruthenia) from 1272 to 1349, when it was conquered by King Casimir III the Great who then became known as the King of Poland and Ruthenia. From 1434, it was the regional capital of the Ruthenian Voivodeship in the Kingdom of Poland. In 1772, after the First Partition of Poland, the city became the capital of the Habsburg Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria. In 1918, for a short time, it was the capital of the West Ukrainian People's Republic. Between the wars, the city was the centre of the Lwów Voivodeship in the Second Polish Republic.

After the German-Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939, Lviv became part of the Soviet Union, and in 1944–46 there was a population exchange between Poland and Soviet Ukraine. In 1991, it became part of the independent nation of Ukraine.

Administratively, Lviv serves as the administrative centre of Lviv Oblast and has the status of city of oblast significance.

Lviv was the centre of the historical regions of Red Ruthenia and Galicia. The historical heart of the city, with its old buildings and cobblestone streets, survived Soviet and German occupations during World War II largely unscathed. The city has many industries and institutions of higher education such as Lviv University and Lviv Polytechnic. Lviv is also the home of many cultural institutions, including a philharmonic orchestra and the Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet. The historic city centre is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

May 31

May 31 is the 151st day of the year (152nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 214 days remain until the end of the year.

November 14

November 14 is the 318th day of the year (319th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 47 days remain until the end of the year.

Pan Twardowski

Pan Twardowski (Polish pronunciation: [ˈpan tfarˈdɔfski]), in Polish folklore and literature, is a sorcerer who made a deal with the Devil. Pan Twardowski sold his soul in exchange for special powers – such as summoning up the spirit of Polish King Sigismund Augustus' deceased wife – but he eventually met a tragic fate. The tale of Pan Twardowski exists in various diverging versions and forms the basis for many works of fiction, including one by Adam Mickiewicz.


Parnassianism (or Parnassism) was a French literary style that began during the positivist period of the 19th century, occurring after romanticism and prior to symbolism. The style was influenced by the author Théophile Gautier as well as by the philosophical ideas of Arthur Schopenhauer.

Polish Academy of Literature

The Polish Academy of Literature (Polish: Polska Akademia Literatury, PAL) was one of the most important state institutions of literary life in the Second Polish Republic, operating between 1933–1939 with the headquarters in Warsaw. It was founded by the decree of the Council of Ministers of the Republic (Rada Ministrów RP).The Academy was the highest opinion-forming authority in the country, in charge of all aspects of promoting and honoring the most outstanding contemporary achievements of Polish literature. According to its own statute, the main objective of the Academy was to raise the quality level of Poland's publishing, while working in conjunction with the government efforts and NGO endeavors focused on the advancement of Polish culture and art in general. The century of foreign Partitions of Poland, ending in 1918, was marked by the forcible suppression of Polish education, language and religion under Prussian (and later German rule, see Kulturkampf), and outright Russification in the territories occupied by the Tsarist Empire, reaching its epitome under Otto von Bismarck on the one hand, and Nicholas II on the other. It resulted in staggering levels of illiteracy on Polish lands, as noted by Stefan Żeromski in 1923. PAL was called forth to reinforce the historic standards of quality, exalt the honor of Poland's literary tradition and explore the intricacies of her heritage. It was proposed for the first time by Żeromski in 1920 already, but accepted as an idea only nine years later (and five years after his death), in 1929.


Skamander was a Polish group of experimental poets founded in 1918 by Julian Tuwim, Antoni Słonimski, Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, Kazimierz Wierzyński and Jan Lechoń.

Initially unnamed, in December 1919 it adopted the name Skamander, after the Scamander River in Asia Minor.


A sonnet is a poem in a specific form which originated in Italy; Giacomo da Lentini is credited with its invention.

The term sonnet is derived from the Italian word sonetto (from Old Provençal sonet a little poem, from son song, from Latin sonus a sound). By the thirteenth century it signified a poem of fourteen lines that follows a strict rhyme scheme and specific structure. Conventions associated with the sonnet have evolved over its history. Writers of sonnets are sometimes called "sonneteers", although the term can be used derisively.

Staff (name)

Staff is both a surname and a given name. Notable people with the name include:


Barbara Staff (born 1924), American political activist

David Staff (born 1979), English footballer for Boston United and Rugby Town

Hanne Staff (born 1972), Norwegian orienteering athlete

Jamie Staff MBE (born 1973), English BMX and track racing cyclist and coach

Kathy Staff (1928–2008), English actress who portrayed Nora Batty in Last of the Summer Wine

Leopold Staff (1878–1957), Polish poet

Ole Johannesen Staff (born 1789), Norwegian politician

Ray Staff, mastering engineer for Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Clash and Black SabbathGiven name:

Staff Barootes (1918–2000), Canadian physician, urologist, and parliamentarian

Staff Jones (born 1959), rugby union prop forward for Wales and Pontypool

Szymon Askenazy

Szymon Askenazy (December 24, 1865, Zawichost – June 22, 1935, Warsaw) was a Jewish-Polish historian, educator, statesman and diplomat, founder of the Askenazy school.

He was the first Polish representative at the League of Nations. His work as a historian was influential in defining the creation and history of the Polish nation.

Young Poland

Young Poland (Polish: Młoda Polska) was a modernist period in Polish visual arts, literature and music, covering roughly the years between 1890 and 1918. It was a result of strong aesthetic opposition to the earlier ideas of Positivism which followed the suppression of the 1863 January Uprising against the occupying army of Imperial Russia. Młoda Polska promoted trends of decadence, neo-romanticism, symbolism, impressionism and art nouveau.

Zygmunt Rumel

Zygmunt Jan Rumel (22 February 1915 – 10 July 1943) was a Polish poet and, during World War II, underground officer of the Bataliony Chłopskie partisans in the Wolhynia Region of the Second Polish Republic. Rumel's poetic talent was acknowledged by renowned Polish poet Leopold Staff and dramatist Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz. One of his poems entitled "Dwie matki" (Two mothers) in which Rumel described his love of Poland and Ukraine, was published in a popular Płomyk magazine in 1935 (issue No. 28). He was killed by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army during the massacres of Poles in Volhynia in 1943.

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