"Stepy Akermanańskie" by Adam Mickiewicz: interpretation of a sonnet

"Stepy Akermanańskie" is the first of the pieces opening the series of "Sonnets of Crimea". We do not know when it was written, but we do know that it was first published in 1826. What is it about?

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Adam Mickiewicz wrote the sonnet "Stepy Akermanańskie" much earlier than the rest of the series. It was created under the influence of the poet's trip to Akerman, which took place in May 1825.

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1. "Akermanian Steppes" as a reminder of the trip

The traveler traverses the flowering steppe on his way to Akerman. In the first stanza, the journey takes place during the day, which makes it possible to admire the landscape. It is beautiful, but it also enhances the feeling of loneliness.

In the next stanza, when darkness falls, the lyrical subject feels lost, very lonely, which intensifies the boundless space. It is worth noting that the night - dark, full of gloom - was the favorite time of romantics.

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In the last stanzas, the lyrical subject listens to the sounds flowing from his native Lithuania. This is a kind of metaphor that is to emphasize attachment to the country. The longing for its landscape, which does not fade even in the face of the exotic beauty, is extremely strong. It is also a farewell to the poet who leaves the country of his youth.

The creators of the Romantic era especially appreciated the oriental culture. They were fascinated by the nature there. They eagerly referred to it in their works, which can be seen in all the sonnets of the Adam Mickiewicz cycle. The lyrical subject in "Steps Akermanskie" can be identified with the poet himself. He is a pilgrim who, despite traveling to distant corners of the world, longs for his homeland.

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"Akermanian Steps" are an example of direct lyric. The work is dominated by personal verb forms, eg "I am looking", "I am looking for", "I am avoiding". The lyrical subject talks about himself and his experiences. However, he does not travel alone ("let's stop", "let's go").

2. Stylistic measures in "Akermanian Steps"

Thanks to the stylistic means used, "Stepy Akermanańskie" is a very dynamic and artistic piece. There are exclamations, comparisons and epithets.

Two parts can be indicated in the work: descriptive (stanza I and II) and reflective (stanza III and IV). The author used stylistic means such as:

  • metaphor (showing the immeasurable space of the steppe),
  • hyperbola (shows the vast expanse of the ocean),
  • epithet,
  • metaphor,
  • onomatopoeias, e.g. humming, silence,
  • comparison (a journey across the steppe compared to a journey by sea).
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