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Henryk Jasiczek

Grave of Henryk Jasiczek and his wife in Český Těšín. His own epitaph reads: If for someone a single poem of mine was just an autumn ray, I didn't live uselessly.[1]
Born March 2, 1919(1919-03-02)
Kottingbrunn, Austria
Died December 8, 1976 (aged 57)
Český Těšín, Czechoslovakia
Resting place Český Těšín
Occupation Poet, writer, journalist
Language Polish
Ethnicity Polish
Citizenship Czechoslovak
Spouse(s) Maria Jasiczek

Henryk Jasiczek (2 March 1919 – 8 December 1976) was a Polish journalist, poet, writer, and activist from the Zaolzie region. He is considered one of the most important Polish writers from Zaolzie after World War II and one of the most popular local Polish poets.[2]

Jasiczek was born in Kottingbrunn near Vienna, Austria as an extramarital child. He spent his childhood in Oldrzychowice near Trzyniec. Since 1934 he studied horticulture in Trzyniec, where, as later remembered, witnessed the worst forms of labour exploitation of workers. In 1936 defended one apprentice who had been beaten by the supervisor and bashed the supervisor himself.[3] In consequence he left and finished horticultural studies in Chrudim, only to work later for a gardener in Hradečno. In 1938 he came back to Zaolzie but wasn't able to find a job. Since March 1939 Jasiczek worked in the Třinec Iron and Steel Works as a worker.

During World War II he was engaged in Polish leftist resistance, where he worked in the underground press and distributed illegal press. After the war he joined the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and became editor-in-chief of Głos Ludu newspaper. He remained in this position until 1957. Jasiczek graduated from a journalism department of the Charles' University in Prague in 1960. He contributed to Polish children magazines and to Zwrot, a Polish cultural and literary magazine. Jasiczek was also an active member of the Polish Cultural and Educational Union, where he directed its Literary-Artistic Section (SLA) from 1945 to 1968.

During the Prague Spring, Jasiczek firmly supported the reformist wing of the Communist Party. His stances and their public manifestations led to his expulsion from public life in May 1970. Jasiczek spent the last years of his life in seclusion and was forced to work in the printing works as a proofreader. He died on 8 December 1976 in a hospital in Český Těšín (Czeski Cieszyn). Henryk Jasiczek was exonerated in 1990.

Right after World War II his poetry focused on social issues. Eventually Jasiczek concentrated on folk and natural motives of regional nature. His lyric poetry is full of melancholy and appreciation of the natural beauties of his region, mostly the Beskids mountain ranges.

Jasiczek's adoration of natural beauties of his region, particularly the Beskids can be seen in following fragment from Nie zdradzę (I Will not Betray) poem from Obuszkiem ciosane (Cut with Cudgel) poetry collection:

Mountain meadows, scented
with thyme, the Sun and the wild
strawberries, like an aged-old wine –
I come back to you always
with the passion of an expatriate.
Always, with a longing – my Beskids.
Rich in bread, steel, coal and the flowers
is my native land, and
in songs, reviving the spirit.
Only the shilly-shally and the weak
would deceive you, and
await happiness among strangers.
Henryk Jasiczek[4] (translated by Richard Tylman)

Works

  • Rozmowy z ciszą (1948) - poetry collection
  • Pochwała życia (1952)
  • Gwiazdy nad Beskidem (1953) - poetry collection
  • Obuszkiem ciosane (1955) - poetry collection
  • Jaśminowe noce (1959) - poetry collection
  • Humoreski beskidzkie (1959) - prose
  • Poetyckie pozdrowienia (1961) - poetry collection
  • Morze Czarne jest błękitne (1961) - travel report
  • Krásné jak housle (1962)
  • Blizny pamięci (1963)
  • Przywiozę ci krokodyla (1965) - travel report
  • Pokus o smír (1967)
  • Baj, baju z mojego kraju (1968) - poetry collection for children
  • Zamyślenie (1969)
  • Smuga cienia (1981) - posthumous selection of poetry
  • Jak ten obłok (1990) - posthumous selection of poetry
  • Wiersze (2006) - posthumous selection of poetry

Footnotes

  1. ^ Original in Polish: Jeśli dla kogoś jeden mój wiersz tylko promykiem był jesiennym, nie żyłem daremnie.
  2. ^ Sikora 1993, 25.
  3. ^ Sikora 2008, 3.
  4. ^ Jasiczek 1955, 51.

References

  • Jasiczek, Henryk (1955). Obuszkiem ciosane. Czeski Cieszyn: Wydawnictwo SLA. Polski Związek Kulturalno-Oświatowy w Czechosłowacji. OCLC 28638497.  
  • Kaszper, Kazimierz (March 2009). "Niepisany patron Zaolzia". Zwrot: 41.  
  • Málková, Iva; and Svatava Urbanová (2001). Literární slovník severní Moravy a Slezska (1945-2000). Olomouc: Votobia. ISBN 80-7198-515-5.  
  • Sikora, Władysław (2008-06-10). "O Henryku Jasiczku". Głos Ludu: p. 3.  
Media offices
Preceded by
-
Editor-in-chief of Głos Ludu
1945 – 1957
Succeeded by
Jan Szurman
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