- What does the character of writing say about a person?
- Rewrite the poem Generalities by hand and compare the poet’s manuscript with your own.
- What is the difference between writing/creating and rewriting/reproducing?
- Look in Norwid’s manuscript: what changes did the poet make in the last verse? Think about its meaning in both variants.
When like a butterfly the Artist-mind
In Spring of life inhales its air,
It can but say:
‘The earth – is round – it is a sphere’.
But when late autumnal shivers
Shake the trees and kill the flowers,
It must elaborate:
‘Though somewhat – flattened – at the poles…’
Amid the varied charms
Of Eloquence and Rhyme
One – endures above the rest:
* * * * * * * * * * *
Granting objects proper names!
Cyprian Kamil Norwid, Selected poems, translated by Adam Czerniawski, Anvil
When Artist-Spirit in life’s spring
Drinks like butterflies its atmosphere,
He is allowed to say but one thing”:
“The earth – is round – it is a sphere!”
But later when the cold days’ shivers
Shake the trees, and each flower falls,
At that time one should add this verse:
“It’s flattened – somewhat – at the poles…’
Above all charms that you proclaim,
You, Poetry, and you, Eloquence,
One – will forever be of essence:
* * * * * * * * * * * *
To give each thing – a proper name!
Cyprian Kamil Norwid, Polish Romantic Literature. An anthology, tłum. Michael J. Mikoś, Slavica, Bloomington, Indiana 2002