"My Testament" - an interpretation of a poem by Juliusz Słowacki

"My Testament" is one of the most famous lyrical works by Juliusz Słowacki. The poet wrote it at the turn of 1839 and 1840. He addresses his lyrical statement to his contemporaries. What is the poem about? How should it be interpreted?

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1. "My testament" - a poetic reckoning

The lyrical subject in the poem "My Testament" is most often identified with the author. Juliusz Słowacki wrote this work while in exile in Paris. In his letters to friends, he mentioned that he was suffering from rejection and misunderstanding. He remained in the shadow of Adam Mickiewicz almost all his life. Besides, he often argued with the author of Dziady. Poets saw the road to independence differently and did not always agree with each other on literary grounds. Their criticism was harsh, even offensive.

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In the poem, the poet makes a reckoning with the past. He notes that his contemporaries will not miss him, because he has never been approved by them. He felt lonely, unnecessary all his life. He sees hope in the next generation. He believes that his young representatives will understand his poetry. Then they will fight and win. At the moment, however, there is no salvation for Poland. The country on the Vistula has lost its freedom.

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The poet feels bitterness. He sees no hope for himself and his homeland. Poles failed in the uprising. The invaders take revenge for his outbreak. Living in exile, far from my beloved country, is difficult. There is hope, however, because although this life will pass away, Słowacki's poetry will remain.

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Juliusz Słowacki in the poem "My Testament" plays the role of a bard. He also has a feeling that the young generation of Poles will find the strength to rebuild the country.

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Słowacki begins his work by emphasizing community with others ("I lived with you, I suffered and I cried with you / I, whoever noble, was never indifferent to me). He reminds us that he made a sacrifice for the country. He also remembers his beloved mother, with whom he was separated due to his stay in exile. There is no heir (both biologically and literally). He is lonely. However, he does not plunge into despair, because he has a feeling that changes will come. He will not see them anymore, but future generations will live in free Poland.

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