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Sonnets from the Crimea
written by "Mickiewicz, Adam, 1798-1855"
...tepmother of Genius." Heine was here in exile, and Börne. It knew the personal fascination and the denunciative writings of Ferdinand la Salle. It was the day, too, of Eugene Sue, Berlioz, George Sand, de Musset, Dumas, Gautier, the Goncourt Brothers, Gavarni, Sainte Beuve, Liszt, Felix Mendelssohn, Ary Scheffer, Delacroiz, Horace Vernet—to mention only a few great names at random. Julius Slowacki, Count Krasinski and Adam Mickiewicz were all here editing their poetry in the midst of this brilliant life in the inspiring city by the Seine. This period in Paris signs perhaps the high-water mark of the creative genius of Mickiewicz. He had already written the Ballads and Romances, the third part of Dziady, Pan Tadeuz. The Crimean Sequence belongs to the period of Mickiewicz's youth, the Vilna period. He joined a society at this [XIII] time which was looked upon with disfavor by the Government. At length, because of his continued participation in it, he was exiled to southern Russia. On that trip, while he was going toward Odessa, he began the Crimean Sonnets. Their success was quick and astonishing. They were translated into every language of Europe. Although the form is the traditional and classic sonnet form, he makes use of it in a slightly different manner, not altogether as an exposition of the sentiments of the soul, and the convictions and emotions of the mind, but as an instrument with which to sketch what he saw upon this eventful journey. He used the sonnet form at that period just as Verhaeren used it in "Les Flamandes," to show us Flanders, and as Albert Samain in "Le Chariot d'Or," to picture the gardens of Versailles. This is worthy of note. And this we must remember was before 1826. In the poetical works of Mickiewicz there was always traceable an inclination to break tradition and to search for new and untried possibilities. On this exile in Russia he learned to know Puschkin, then a young man like hims...

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