Tadeusz Rozewicz

(1921 - 2014 / Radomsko, Poland)

Biography of Tadeusz Rozewicz

Tadeusz Rozewicz poet

Tadeusz Różewicz (9 October 1921 – 24 April 2014) was a Polish poet, dramatist and writer. Różewicz belonged to the first generation of Polish writers born after Poland regained its independence in 1918 following the century of foreign partitions. He was born in Radomsko near Łódź. His first poems were published in 1938. During the Second World War, like his brother Janusz (also a poet), he was a soldier of the Polish underground Home Army. His other brother Stanisław was a noted film director.

Tadeusz Różewicz was the son of Władysław and Stefania Różewicz, his mother née Gelbard, being a Jewish convert to Catholicism. Unlike his elder brother Janusz, also a highly promising poet, who was executed by the Gestapo in 1944 for serving in the Resistance, Tadeusz survived the war. On finishing high-school, he enrolled at the Jagiellonian University of Kraków, and then in the late 1940s moved to Gliwice where he lived for the next thirty years. In 1968 he moved to Wrocław where he lived for the rest of his life. Czesław Miłosz hailed his poetic gifts in a poem in 1948. His literary debut as a highly innovative playwright began in 1960 with The Card Index (Kartoteka), by which time he was already the author of fifteen acclaimed volumes of poetry published since 1944.

He had written over a dozen plays and several screenplays. The eruption of dramaturgical energy was also accompanied by volumes of poetry and prose. Some of his best known plays other than The Card Index include, The Interrupted Act (Akt przerywany, 1970), Birth Certificate (Świadectwo urodzenia, screenplay to an award-winning film by the same title, 1961), Left Home (Wyszedł z domu, 1965), and The White Wedding (Białe małżeństwo, 1975). His New Poems collection was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2008. Some of his works were translated into all major languages.

Różewicz died in Wrocław on 24 April 2014 from natural causes. He was 92.

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The Survivor

I am twenty-four
led to slaughter
I survived.

The following are empty synonyms:
man and beast
love and hate
friend and foe
darkness and light.

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