Renowned Polish poet and playwright, Jarosław Marek Rymkiewicz, passed away on Thursday at the age of 86, the poet’s family announced.
In his four excellent literary essays about Polish history: “The Hanging”, “Kinderszenen”, “Samuel Zborowski” and “Reytan. The Fall of Poland,” he not only interpreted the past, but also created a possible vision of Poland’s future.
He referred frequently to the great poet of Polish romanticism Adam Mickiewicz and his division of Poland into two parts: one comprised of “sensible” people and “Europeans” who wanted Poland to cease to exist and meltdown, and the one made up of “madmen” and “barbarians” who wanted Poland to exist.
As he wrote in “Reytan,” the Mickiewicz division can be seen in Poland today: “Therefore, we must choose – either we will be sensible people and lose Poland; or we will be insane people and will contribute to its salvation.”
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote a eulogy for Rymkiewicz on social media.
“A great Pole has passed away. I think that this the shortest way in which one can describe Jarosław Marek Rymkiewicz,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
The Polish prime minister added that Rymkiewicz was a great poet who had received numerous literary awards and was considered by many to be a modern-day seer.
“He was also a great literary critic and incredible essayist who created masterpieces using the greatest materials that are Polish history, culture and language. He was defiant, provocative and had the courage to say unpopular things,” Morawiecki wrote.
“Above all else, he was a great Pole. Rest in peace,” the prime minister added.