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.

Nowy Swiat 57, Warsaw, Poland
Nowy Świat 57, Warsaw, birthplace of Skamander. Here, on 29 November 1918, five poets opened the Picador Café.[1]


The group was initially closely related to the Pro Arte et Studio literary monthly and the Pod Picadorem (Picador) Café in Warsaw. In 1920 it created its own publication, the Skamander monthly, though its members also collaborated with Wiadomości Literackie (Literary News) and other newspapers.

The young poets were heavily influenced by Leopold Staff and other neoromantic poets. Their main aims were to break the links between history and poetry and to end the nationalist and patriotic functions of Polish poetry. They also emphasized the need to restore poetry to the common people by returning to everyday-language usage in poetry, including colloquialisms, neologisms and vulgarisms. Finally, the Skamandrites (Skamandryci) emphasized the beauty of everyday life and of all forms of life generally, including the biological side.

In contrast to the basic aims of the late-19th-century Young Poland movement, Skamander's members eschewed semi-mythological heroes and protagonists, replacing them with common people. In contrast to the contemporary Awangarda Krakowska (Kraków Avant-Garde) movement, they saw themselves as continuers of Polish literary traditions, especially those of romanticism and neoromanticism.

Apart from the movement's five chief members, several lesser-known poets and critics adhered to its principles. They included Stanisław Baliński, Gabriel Michał Karski, Światopełk Karpiński, Jerzy Paczkowski, Karol Zawodziński and Wilam Horzyca.

See also


  1. ^ Information from plaque placed on the building in 2006.


Barry Keane, Skamander: The Poets and Their Poetry, Warsaw, Agade, 2004, ISBN 83-87111-29-5.

"Skamander," Encyklopedia Polski (Encyclopedia of Poland), Kraków, Wydawnictwo Ryszard Kluszczyński, 1996, ISBN 83-86328-60-6, p. 617.

Alenka Gotar

Alenka Gotar is a Slovene soprano singer, born in Rodica in 1977. With the song “Cvet z juga” (“Flower of the South”), she represented Slovenia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 in Helsinki, Finland. Achieving seventh place in the semi final, she became the first Slovene to qualify to the grand final, where she ended fifteenth with 66 points.

Anatol Stern

Anatol Stern (24 October 1899 in Warsaw – 19 October 1968 in Warsaw) was a Polish poet, writer and art critic. Born 24 October 1899 to an assimilated family of Jewish ancestry, Stern studied at the Polish Studies Faculty of the University of Wilno but did not graduate. Prominent among Polish futurist poets, between 1921 and 1923 he co-authored (together with Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz) the "Nowa Sztuka" (New Art) monthly. He also collaborated with other notable art magazines of the time, including the Skamander, Tadeusz Peiper's Zwrotnica and Wiadomości literackie.

With time he drifted away from avant-garde poetry and became a notable screenwriter. Prior to the outbreak of World War II, he authored more than 30 screenplays for both Polish and foreign films. After the Invasion of Poland he moved to Soviet-held Lwów, where he was arrested by the NKVD and sent to Soviet Gulag. Released after the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement, he joined the Polish Army and with it reached Palestine. There he made his living translating some of his pre-war works to Hebrew. In 1948 he returned to his home town, where he died 19 October 1968.

Antoni Słonimski

Antoni Słonimski (15 November 1895 – 4 July 1976) was a Polish poet, artist, journalist, playwright and prose writer, president of the Union of Polish Writers in 1956–1959 during the Polish October, known for his devotion to social justice.

Słonimski was the grandson of Hayyim Selig Slonimski, the founder of "ha-Tsefirah"- the first Hebrew weekly with an emphasis on the sciences. His father, an ophthalmologist, converted to Christianity when he married a Catholic woman. Słonimski was born in Warsaw and baptized and raised as a Christian. Słonimski studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. In 1919 he co-founded the Skamander group of experimental poets with Julian Tuwim and Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz. In 1924 he travelled to Palestine and Brasil and in 1932 to the Soviet Union.

Słonimski spent the war years in exile in England and France, returning to Poland in 1951. He worked as contributor to popular periodicals: Nowa Kultura (1950–1962), Szpilki (1953–73) and Przegląd Kulturalny. He was an active anti-Stalinist and supporter of liberalization. Słonimski died on 4 July 1976 in a car accident in Warsaw.


Cebrene (Ancient Greek: Κεβρήνη), also spelled Cebren (Ancient Greek: Κεβρήν), was an ancient Greek city in the middle Skamander valley in the Troad region of Anatolia. According to some scholars, the city's name was changed to Antiocheia in the Troad (Ancient Greek: Ἀντιόχεια τῆς Τρωάδος) for a period during the 3rd century BCE (see below). Its archaeological remains have been located on Çal Dağ in the forested foothills of Mount Ida (modern Kaz Dağı), approximately 7 km to the south of the course of the Skamander. The site was first identified by the English amateur archaeologist Frank Calvert in 1860.

Halina Konopacka

Halina Konopacka (26 February 1900 – 28 January 1989) was a Polish athlete. She won the discus throw event at the 1928 Summer Olympics, breaking her own world record and becoming the first Polish Olympic champion. After retiring from athletics she became a writer and poet. She immigrated to the United States after World War II and died there.

Jan Lechoń

Leszek Józef Serafinowicz (pen name: Jan Lechoń; March 13, 1899 in Warsaw, Congress Poland, Russian Empire – June 8, 1956 in New York City) was a Polish poet, literary and theater critic, diplomat, and co-founder of the Skamander literary movement and the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America.

Janusz Minkiewicz

Janusz Minkiewicz (born June 25, 1914 in St. Petersburg – May 29, 1981 in Warsaw) was a Polish writer, translator, journalist and satirist.

Born in St. Petersburg, he graduated from the faculty of philosophy of the Warsaw University. Active in various journals, he was considered one of the heirs to the Skamander group of poets. In 1939 he fled Nazi-occupied part of Poland to Vilna, then under Lithuanian occupation, where in 1940 (after the Soviet take-over of the city) he ran a satirical theatre, as well as the "Ksantypa" cabaret in Biały Sztral cafe. Following the German take-over of the city in 1941 he moved back to Warsaw, where he collaborated with numerous officially-approved theatres. After the war he became a noted translator of literature, mostly Russian. He collaborated with satiric journals Szpilki, Przekrój and Cyrulik Warszawski.

Julian Tuwim

Julian Tuwim (September 13, 1894 – December 27, 1953), known also under the pseudonym "Oldlen" as a lyricist, was a Polish poet of Jewish descent, born in Łódź, (then part of the Russian Partition). He was educated in Łódź and in Warsaw where he studied law and philosophy at Warsaw University. After Poland's return to independence in 1919, Tuwim co-founded the Skamander group of experimental poets with Antoni Słonimski and Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz. He was a major figure in Polish literature, admired also for his contribution to children's literature. He was a recipient of the prestigious Golden Laurel of the Polish Academy of Literature in 1935.

Karol Wiktor Zawodziński

Karol Wiktor Zawodziński, pseudonym Karol de Johne, (1890–1949) was highly acclaimed Polish literary critic, theoretist and historian of literature. Associated with a poetical group Skamander.


Lamponeia (Ancient Greek Λαμπώνεια, also spelled Λαμπωνία and Λαμπώνιον) was a Greek city on the southern coast of the Troad region of Anatolia. Its archaeological remains have been located above the village of Kozlu in the district of Ayvacık in Çanakkale Province in Turkey. The site was first visited by Platon de Tchiatcheff in 1849, and later surveyed and identified as Lamponeia by Joseph Thacher Clarke, the excavator of nearby Assos, in 1882, and by Walter Judeich in 1896.

Lucjan Szenwald

Lucjan Szenwald (Polish pronunciation: [ˈlut͡sjan ˈʂɛnvalt]; March 13, 1909 in Warsaw – August 22, 1944 in Kurów) was a Polish poet and communist activist.He first made his appearance as a member of the Skamander group with the poem "Przybierający księżyc" (A Primping Moon). However he was generally associated with a different literary group - the "Kwadryga" - which differentiated itself from the Skamanders by emphasizing the role of social problems in aesthetics. He was an editor of the weekly "Na przełaj" (Through the fields) which was a subsidiary of the main organ of the Communist Party of Poland newspaper Lewar. In 1930 he was an active member of the youth organization of the Polish Communists and by 1932 of the party itself. Between 1938 and 1939 he was arrested three times for communist activity (at the time, both the far right and the far left political parties were banned in Poland).

After the break out of World War II he wound up in Kovel and later in Lwow. In both places he enthusiastically collaborated with the Soviet occupiers. In Lwow he worked in the Lwow Soviet Radio where he was in charge of translating Bolshevik poets, particularly Mayakovsky into Polish.

In 1941 he joined the Red Army. For unknown reasons by 1943 he wound up in Siberia in workers' battalion. He took active part in helping to form the Soviet affiliated Polish 1st Tadeusz Kościuszko Infantry Division. He eventually became the official diarist of the division. He participated in the Battle of Lenino.He died in a car accident, although a different version blames Soviet soldiers for his death - he was shot after he refused to exit the car he was sitting in.

His poems were both Classicist and romantic in style. He also translated major works of English and Russian literature. He was the author of the lyrics to the popular satyrical song "Long Live War!", popularized by Stanisław Grzesiuk.


Marpessos (Ancient Greek: Μάρπησσος) was a settlement in the middle Skamander valley of the Troad region of Anatolia. The settlement's name is also spelled Μαρμησσός, Μαρμισσός, Μερμησσός in ancient sources. It was known in Classical antiquity primarily as the birthplace of the Hellespontine Sibyl Herophile. Its site has been located at Dam Dere approximately 2 km SE of the village of Zerdalilik in the Bayramiç district of Çanakkale Province in Turkey. Despite the similarity of its name and its location on Mount Ida, the settlement is apparently unrelated to the mythological figure Marpessa and her husband Idas. It should likewise not be confused with the Mount Marpessa on Paros.


Neandreia (Ancient Greek Νεάνδρεια) was a Greek city in the south-west of the Troad region of Anatolia. Its site has been located on Çığrı Dağ, about 9 km east of the remains of the ancient city of Alexandria Troas in the Ezine district of Çanakkale province, Turkey (based on the work of John Manuel Cook). The site was first identified as Neandreia by Frank Calvert in 1865 and Joseph Thacher Clarke in 1886 and was first excavated by the German architect Robert Koldewey when he excavated in 1889.

Polish poetry

Polish poetry has a centuries-old history, similar to the Polish literature.

Prosto z mostu

Prosto z mostu (English: Straight Out) was a weekly magazine, which was published in Warsaw, Second Polish Republic, from 1935 until 1939. Its editor in chief was Stanisław Piasecki, and the magazine was strongly associated with radical right-wing movement National Radical Camp (ONR). In 1931–1935, Prosto z mostu was published as a Sunday supplement to the ABC daily, associated with the ONR.

Prosto z mostu presented the works of leading right-wing publicists of Poland in the late 1930s. Among most notable publicists who were associated with the magazine were Jan Mosdorf, Adam Doboszynski, Jan Dobraczyński, Józef Kisielewski, Alfred Laszowski, Adolf Nowaczynski, Karol Zbyszewski and Jerzy Zdziechowski. Furthermore, the magazine occasionally featured the works of Jerzy Andrzejewski, Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński and Boleslaw Micinski. As in the late 1930s it became more radical, some writers decided to break their ties with it (Karol Irzykowski, Boleslaw Micinski). Prosto z mostu often published provocative, aggressive articles, and was conflicted with the literary group Skamander. Furthermore, the Sanation government frequently confiscated the copies of the magazine, due to radical right-wing contents and criticism of the government. It also featured anti-Semitic articlesWhile the publication was heavily antisemitic and opposed to presence of Jews in Poland, at the same time it supported alliance with Zionist movement and creation of Jewish state in Palestine, to create an emigration destination for Polish Jews. Zionists were defined as "Jews with national pride and dignity" and the attempt to create a Jewish state as "natural, healthy national Jewish desires .The nostalgia for own state and evacuation from foreign countries" .

Sztuka i Naród

Sztuka i Naród (Polish pronunciation: [ˈʂtuka i ˈnarud]; Art and Nation) was a Polish monthly published covertly in Warsaw, occupied Poland during World War II. It was supported by the resistance group Konfederacja Narodu. It was published from April 1942 to Warsaw Uprising in August 1944. 16 issues were published. It was the only Polish underground publication, dedicated to cultural matters, that was regularly published for such a long period of time.


Bronisław Onufry Kopczyński (ps. "Stefan Barwiński") – arrested in January 1943, died in April that year

Wacław Bojarski (ps. "Jan Marzec", "Wojciech Wierzejewski", "Marek Zalewski") - wounded in May 1943, died in June that year

Andrzej Trzebiński (ps. "Stanisław Łomień", "Paweł Późny") - Arrested and executed in October 1943

Tadeusz Gajcy (ps. "Karol Topornicki", "Roman Oścień") - till the last issue, died in the Warsaw UprisingMost of activists of SiN were related to the underground Warsaw University. Notable writers publishing in SiN included: Bernard Wojciech Mencl, Zdzisław Leon Stroiński, Stanisław Marczak-Oborski, Jerzy Zagórski and Lesław Marian Bartelski.The magazine supported the radical and national philosophies, and was critical of some pre-war trends; in particular, it criticized the Skamander group of Polish writers.

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