A Tribute to...

Obviously it would be very difficult to list all the artists who, over the years, were connected with Kraków. In the years 1477 - 1496 for instance, the famous sculptor Wit Stwosz lived and worked in Kraków, where he created such outstanding works as the altar in St. Mary's Church (Kościół Mariacki) or the tomb of King Kazimierz Jagiellończyk in the Wawel Cathedral.

Certainly, tribute must be paid to the famous painter Jan Matejko, for many years rector of the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts.

Among his successors especially worthy of note are: Jacek Malczewski, Stanisław Wyspiański and Józef Mehoffer. But other Kraków painters and sculptors also went down in the history of art: Teodor Axentowicz, Julian Fałat, Leon Wyczółkowski or Xawery Dunikowski.

New works of literature and poetry were written in Kraków many years ago by: Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Stanisław Wyspiański, Zbigniew Herbert, Lucjan Rydel and Stanisław Przybyszewski.

The famous playwright and director Tadeusz Kantor worked here as well, and Piotr Skrzynecki, set up his own, unique and unforgettable cabaret in the Main Market Square. Marek Grechuta’s work was also connected with the city.

Among the greatest Polish poets, who until recently strolled about the streets of Kraków are undoubtedly Wisława Szymborska and Czesław Milłosz.


"Cat in an empty apartment"   Wisława Szymborska

translated by: Stanisław Barańczak and Clare Cavanagh


Die - you can't do that to a cat.
Since what can a cat do
in an empty apartment?
Climb the walls?
Rub up against the furniture?
Nothing seems different here,
but nothing is the same.
Nothing has been moved,
but there's more space.
And at nighttime no lamps are lit.
Footsteps on the staircase,
but they're new ones.
The hand that puts fish on the saucer
has changed, too.

Something doesn't start
at its usual time.
Something doesn't happen
as it should.
Someone was always, always here,
then suddenly disappeared
and stubbornly stays disappeared.

Every closet has been examined.
Every shelf has been explored.
Excavations under the carpet turned up nothing.
A commandment was even broken,
papers scattered everywhere.
What remains to be done.
Just sleep and wait.

Just wait till he turns up,
just let him show his face.
Will he ever get a lesson
on what not to do to a cat.
Sidle toward him
as if unwilling
and ever so slow
on visibly offended paws,
and no leaps or squeals at least to start.

Tuesday, 15th October 2019
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