„Nadzy w zbroi, w czasie” Zeugma and syllepsis in Stanisław Barańczak’s poetry Cover Image
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„Nadzy w zbroi, w czasie” Zeugma i syllepsa w poezji Stanisława Barańczaka
„Nadzy w zbroi, w czasie” Zeugma and syllepsis in Stanisław Barańczak’s poetry

Author(s): Jerzy Paszek
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Literary Texts, Studies of Literature, Philology, Theory of Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Summary/Abstract: The present essay is an attempt at an attentive, micrological glance at the poet’sworks, compiled in the volume entitled Wiersze zebrane (Cracow 2006, p. 5–494). The rhetorical figures mentioned in the title concern two syntactic constructions: zeugma – e.g. „czołgi, co łamią śmieszne szlabany i zasady” (sampled in Wiersze zebrane, p. 244), and syllepsis – e.g. the writing on the pub wall: „Piwa i pacierza nie odmawiam”. (M.M. Hurley, D.C. Dennett, R.B. Adams, Jr.: Filozofia dowcipu. Humor jako siła napędowa umysłu. Transl. R. Śmietana. Cracow 2016, p. 233). I come to the conclusion that zeugmas occur already in the first volume of Barańczak (Korekta twarzy [Facial Corrections]), glowing and ruffling (cf. Wiersze, p. 487), up to the last one (Chirurgiczna precyzja [Surgical Precision]). Syllepis is much more infrequent, as it consists in a very sophisticated word‑play (in the aforementioned example‑the ambiguity of the verb „odmawiać” [„to deny”]).I assume that Barańczak’s inspiration – apart from the influence of English metaphysicalpoets translated by him, and also of such great authors like Brodski and Mandelsztam ‑might have been (familiar to him from his early readings), the poem by Miłosz entitled Świty (The Dawns), which begins with such an ambiguous couplet: „Wysoki był dom. W ciemności pełzł (emphasis mine) wielki mur // nad szelest liści u klonów, nad zamęt pośpiesznych nóg”. I think that the young poet was captivated and incited (to action) by the phrase „pełzł wielki mur”, which may signify both the wall fading, going pale (as the night fades away), as well as its moving and crawling. The micrology, therefore, focuses also on words that conceal the abundance of associations, characteristic for the homonyms of the Polish language.

  • Page Range: 39-60
  • Page Count: 22
  • Publication Year: 2016
  • Language: Polish