"In the diary of Zofia Bobrówna" by Juliusz Słowacki

"In the diary of Zofia Bobrówna" is a poem by Juliusz Słowacki. The poet wrote it in 1844 while in exile in Paris. The piece is included in the reading canon for grades 4-8 of primary school.

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1. "In the diary of Zofia Bobrówna" - the content of the poem

Let Zośka not ask me for poems,
Because when Zośka returns to her homeland,
Every flower will tell Zosia's poems,
Every song of her star will hum.
Before the flower blooms, before the star flies,
Listen - because they are the best poets.

Blue stars, red flowers
They will compose the whole poem for you.
If I said the same thing they said
Because I learned to talk from them;

Because wherever Ikva silver waves flow,
I was once, like Zośka, a child.
Today I went far to visit guests
And still unhappy fate follows me.
Bring me, Zośka, from those stars of light,
Bring me, Zośka, of those flowers, the fragrance,

Because I really need to be younger.
So come back to me from the country as if from heaven.

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2. "In the diary of Zofia Bobrówna" - interpretation

The poem is directed to ten-year-old Zosia, who asked the poet to enter her diary. Słowacki takes up the challenges. So he writes about his beloved Poland, for which he misses. He had to leave her, leave beautiful landscapes behind him. It is nature, birds, stars and flowers that will tell the girl about the country of her ancestors better than himself. They taught Słowacki poetry, sensitized him and inspired him. It owes them its literary success.

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Słowacki feels a great longing for Poland. Emigration made him unhappy. So he asks Zosia to bring him a piece of his homeland from Poland - the smell of flowers, the glow of stars. These, of course, requests impossible to fulfill, but they illustrate the fate of the wandering poet.

3. Who was Zofia Bobrówna?

Zofia Bobrówna is an authentic figure. She was the daughter of Teodor Bóbr-Piotrowicki and Joanna Bobrowa, a friend of the poet. Juliusz Słowacki was very fond of the girl.

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In 1857, Zofia Bobrówna married Count. Juliusz Dzieduszycki. Her portrait by Henryk Rodakowski belongs to the collection of the Silesian Museum in Katowice. He is known as Portrait of Zofia Dzieduszycka or Portrait of Juliuszowa Dzieduszycka.

4. Emigration poetry by Juliusz Słowacki

Juliusz Słowacki, who constantly argued with Adam Mickiewicz and remained somewhat in the shadow of his work, was forced to leave Poland due to repressions from the tsarist authorities. He continued to write and publish his poetry in Paris. He also performed recitations during patriotic celebrations in exile. He only avoided publishing insurgent poems.

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Słowacki did not plan to stay abroad for long. In his hometown of Krzemieniec, his mother and grandparents were waiting for him. With time, however, he left Paris and settled in Geneva, Switzerland, where in 1833 he wrote Kordiana in Mrs. Pattey's boarding house. The work was the poet's first account of the moral and political dilemmas of the insurgent generation.

The poet returned to Paris after six years. Słowacki's works published here, incl. "Anhelli" and "Balladyna" did not gain the approval of Poles living in exile. They criticized the writer, did not understand his work, constantly comparing it to the works of Adam Mickiewicz. The poet felt lonely, he was not accepted. Few saw the artist in him, incl. Zygmunt Krasiński. His works were read and appreciated also by Cyprian Kamil Norwid.

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Juliusz Słowacki died on April 3, 1849. He was buried in the Montmartre cemetery in Paris. His ashes were brought to Poland in 1927. They were buried in the porch of the Wawel cathedral next to the grave of Adam Mickiewicz.

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