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Adam Mickiewicz. What is his motherland: Poland or Lithuania?


Torq 26 | 2,371
22 Feb 2010  #1
Is that why he called Lithuania his motherland?

He did that in a book that is widely considered to be a masterpiece of Polish
language and Mickiewicz was and ardent Polish patriot. I might as well refer to
Lower Silesia as my fatherland (in Polish we say "Ojczyzna" so it's not motherland
but fatherland :-)), because I was born there, but I am still a Pole.

maybe it is the only reason, I'll let you know when I get to talk with them again :-)
I only posted what I was told by some Lithuanians.

Sure - no probs. As for Mickiewicz - he was born in the lands that are currently
a part of Belarus that were back then a part of Grand Duchy of Lithuania so there
is another nation that could claim him :-) In Wikipedia his name is given in three
languages (Bel. Адам Міцкевіч, Pol. Adam Mickiewicz, Lit. Adomas Mickevièius).

In English it's motherland

It doesn't matter what it's called in English. In Polish it's ojczyzna (fatherland)
and that's what counts when we talk about a Polish poet ;-)
OP matteroftaste
22 Feb 2010  #2
It's not my business to argue over Mickiewicz but I know that he claimed Lithuania to be his motherland, that's it. If we start talking about which land used to belong to who in the past, Polish history will become even much more complicated.

It doesn't matter what it's called in English. In Polish it's ojczyzna (fatherland)
and that's what counts when we talk about a Polish poet ;-)

don't we use English on this forum?
z_darius 14 | 3,969
22 Feb 2010  #3
Is that why he called Lithuania his motherland?

As Torq pointed out, it was a fatherland.
In Polish the word (ojczyzna) did not necessarily mean a country a political entity and the meaning can be as narrow as a region one comes from or even a family farm.

A century or so ago Stefan Zeromski could have said that Malopolska was his "oczyzna" (fatherland). Malopolska was never a separate country, or a nation.

That meaning is obsolete today and now so in today's Polish, in the narrow sense, the word "ojcowizna" (heirdom) would seem more appropriate.
OP matteroftaste
22 Feb 2010  #4
As Torq pointed out, it was a fatherland.

answer above
z_darius 14 | 3,969
22 Feb 2010  #5
It's not my business to argue over Mickiewicz but I know that he claimed Lithuania to be his motherland, that's it.

And he did that in what language?
OP matteroftaste
22 Feb 2010  #6
tell me :-)
Torq 26 | 2,371
22 Feb 2010  #7
he claimed Lithuania to be his motherland

He said that, all right. He said that in a beautiful, pure Polish :-)

For me personally it doesn't matter if Lithuania claims him. He was one
of the greatest Polish language poets of all time and ultimately that's
what matters.
Bzibzioh
22 Feb 2010  #8
OK then why so many of them don't like Poles?

You'd be upset too if a foreigner, a Pole, wrote your language's alphabet. And if your neighbor's culture was more attractive.

If we start talking about which land used to belong to who in the past, Polish history will become even much more complicated.

Too complicated for an American you mean.
OP matteroftaste
22 Feb 2010  #9
How about this one? He wrote it too. Is it Polish or Lithuanian?

Polish?

I just want to know, that's it.
z_darius 14 | 3,969
22 Feb 2010  #10
tell me :-)

I found wikipedia to be explaining things pretty well:

The controversy over Mickiewicz's ethnic background largely stems from the fact that in the 19th century the modern concept of nationality based on ethnicity had not yet been fully developed and the term "Lithuania," as used by Mickiewicz himself, had a much broader geographic meaning than it does now. Mickiewicz had been brought up in the culture of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a multicultural state that had encompassed most of what today are the separate countries of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus and Ukraine.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mickiewicz
OP matteroftaste
22 Feb 2010  #11
Mickiewicz had been brought up in the culture of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a multicultural state that had encompassed most of what today are the separate countries of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus and Ukraine.

Very nice and diplomatic explanation. I guess the WW3 will be avoided now, lol
vetala - | 382
22 Feb 2010  #12
I don't give a fvck what his real or imagined nationality was. The fact remains - a man who titled his collection of poems "The Books of the Polish Nation and the Polish Pilgrimage", who called Poland a "Christ among nations" and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth "husband with wife, two souls in one body. And there was never before this such a union of nations. But hereafter there shall be. For that union and marriage of Lithuania and Poland is the symbol of the future union of all Christian peoples in the name of faith and freedom." (yes, freedom, not oppression) definitely had great love for Poland, no matter how you look at it. If Lithuanians want to believe that he was Lithuanian they are free to do so but they can't at the same time pretend that he and other people like him were unhappy about the Commonwealth.

So, he was either a Pole who didn't notice the terrible oppression of Lithuanians, or a Lithuanian who didn't feel oppressed in any way at all.
marqoz - | 195
24 Feb 2010  #13
My advice for them is to stop eating at McDonald's and to put on their national dress before complaining about the influence of foreign culture.

Good point! We should say them it's all from Tusk Donald. They'll stop.

The Lithuanian emancipation started in late 1860s just after the failure of the last Polish rebellion (January Insurgence) in which 3,5 'languages' fought together against Muscovy. They were all Lithuanians but spoke 3 or 4 languages: Polish, Lithuanian, White-Ruthenian and few Yiddish. Lithuanian speakers had simply enough. They started to develop his own national identity. They even resigned from Polish alphabet to write his language and borrowed New-Czech one. Polish society was baffled and counterattacked stating it's a treason against common Homeland. Treason breeds treason and new Lithuanian irredenta started to make public happenings bringing before the tribunal of the Lithuanian people the old traitor Jogaila (king Władysław II Jagiełło).
OP matteroftaste
24 Feb 2010  #14
well, this confirming what I've heard from Lithuanians I've met in the states.
Nathan 18 | 1,363
24 Feb 2010  #15
"Litwo! Ojczyzno moja! ty jesteś jak zdrowie.
Ile cię trzeba cenić, ten tylko się dowie,
Kto cię stracił. Dziś piękność twą w całej ozdobie
Widzę i opisuję, bo tęsknię po tobie."

I have a question, my friends:
Why does he say that he lost her (his Lithuania, his Fatherland)? And it seems like the only land he misses. If it refers to the loss of independance in the 1700s, then he should have missed Poland too or RP at least, in my opinion (if he considered them his ojczyzna).

In Polish the word (ojczyzna) did not necessarily mean a country a political entity and the meaning can be as narrow as a region one comes from or even a family farm.

I never saw a man to "see and describe in all its marvellous beauty" family farm, "missing it" and who just found about his enourmous love after he lost it ;) I think he meant more than a chicken coop :)
Bzibzioh
24 Feb 2010  #16
I have a question, my friends: Why does he say that he lost her

Because he had to emigrate.

I think he meant more than a chicken coop :)

Check ojczyzna and ojcowizna.
Nathan 18 | 1,363
24 Feb 2010  #17
Check ojczyzna and ojcowizna.

God, Honor, Fatherland (Polish: Bóg, Honor, Ojczyzna1) is one of the unofficial mottos of Poland

You are not going to tell me that the last word means a farm or anything similar?!
Bzibzioh
24 Feb 2010  #18
This word comes from the same stem.

Bóg, Honor, Ojczyzna is one of the unofficial mottos of Poland

What is your point?
Nathan 18 | 1,363
24 Feb 2010  #19
Just that Mickiewicz meant the word "ojczyzna" the way you mean now when you say the motto.
vetala - | 382
24 Feb 2010  #20
And it seems like the only land he misses

univ.gda.pl/~literat/ksiegi/003.htm

"A w Ojczyźnie naszej, w Polsce wiernej Tobie, nie wolno jest wołać do Ciebie; i starcy nasi, kobiety i dzieci modlą się do Ciebie w skrytości. myślą i łzami. BOŻE Jagiellonów! BOŻE Sobieskich, BOŻE Kościuszków! zlituj się nad Ojczyzną naszą i nad nami."
Bzibzioh
24 Feb 2010  #21
Just that Mickiewicz meant the word "ojczyzna" the way you mean now when you say the motto.

I don't think so. He identified himself as a Pole; that was his economic status, language and religion.
vetala - | 382
24 Feb 2010  #22
Some more quotes from "Pan Tadeusz":

„Nie nam to pisać akta, ma Polska pisarzy
Koronnych i Litewskich, tak robili starzy”


„Ilekroć z Prus powracam, chcąc zmyć się z niemczyzny,
Wpadam do Soplicowa, jak w centrum polszczyzny:
Tam się człowiek napije, nadysze Ojczyzny!”


„Marsz tryumfalny: "Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła!"
"Marsz, Dąbrowski, do Polski!" - I wszyscy klasnęli,
I wszyscy "Marsz Dąbrowski" chorem okrzyknęli!
(…)
Aż gdy na Dąbrowskiego starzec oczy zwrócił,
Zakrył rękami, spod rąk łez potok się rzucił:
"Jenerale! - rzekł - ciebie długo Litwa nasza
Czekała... długo, jak my Żydzi Mesyjasza.
Ciebie prorokowali dawno między ludem
Śpiewaki, ciebie niebo obwieściło cudem.
Żyj i wojuj, o, ty nasz!..."
Mówiąc, ciągle szlochał.
Żyd poczciwy Ojczyznę jako Polak kochał!”

Nathan 18 | 1,363
25 Feb 2010  #23
Ojczyźnie naszej, w Polsce

So you want to say when someone in Polish is talking about his/her Motherland, he means only Poland? Mickiewich said: "Litwo, Ojczyzno moja..." BB would have said "Niemcy, Ojczyzno moja...", just not in his native language, but it doesn't change his or anyone else Motherland at the very least.

Mówiąc, ciągle szlochał.
Żyd poczciwy Ojczyznę jako Polak kochał!”

So? It doesn't contradict my statement at all: the Jew loved his country like a Pole loves his. More to support that he didn't mean Poland

ciebie długo Litwa nasza
Czekała..

my grandfather

Great man, Marek.
Torq 26 | 2,371
25 Feb 2010  #24
ma Polska pisarzy Koronnych i Litewskich

Good quote.

There was Poland - consisting of ziemie Korony Polskiej i ziemie litewskie,
similar to the situation today when we have Poland consisting of Pomerania,
Silesia and so on.

My grandparents, both from my mother's and my father's side are Górale Podhalańscy
(from Nowy Targ area) who have their own, very distinct culture, customs and dialect
that they speak, but they would never consider themselves "not-Polish" because of that.

Górale are Polish, just like Kaszubi, Wielkopolanie, Mazowszanie, Litwini, Białorusini
or Ukraińcy. They are all Polish.

The meaning of the words 'Polish' and 'Poland' is much wider than the primitive,
troglodyte, 19th century nationalistic, limited sense that some people on this forum
are trying to promote. They have to give up their nazi-like, primitive, tribal thinking.

As for those Lithuanians who say that they are not Polish - I'd advise them to finally stop
living in denial and embrace their Polishness (in a wider cultural, historical and civilizational
sense).
vetala - | 382
25 Feb 2010  #25
More to support that he didn't mean Poland

This is Jankiel, Nathan, the person who "- Miał także sławę dobrego Polaka."

Guess what? I have even MORE quotes:

"Że będzie wojna. Książę wysłał mnie na zwiady
Z rozkazem, żeby byli Litwini gotowi
Dowieść przychodzącemu Napoleonowi,
Że chcą złączyć się znowu z siostrą swą, Koroną,
I żądają, ażeby Polskę przywrócono."


This quote clearly shows that Mickiewicz thinks of Poland as one country made up of two administrative districts: "Korona" and "Litwa". And here's what Poles from Korona were called: Zawsze zwykł za patrona brać Koronijasza

And now a proof that characters in Pan Tadeusz are Poles:

Sędzia's words:"Jestem Polak, dla kraju rad bym coś dokazać,"
About Hrabia:"Poczciwy, dobry Polak; potrzebny nam taki;"
About Soplicowie:""O polska krwi!" (...) "Prawe dziecię Sopliców!"
Others:"Zaczęli z dawnych gniewów ostygać powoli.
Bo szlachta polska, chociaż niezmiernie kłotliwa
I porywcza do bitew, przecież nie jest mściwa."


"Zdrowie Państwu naszemu!" - ze łzami krzyknęli;
Tadeusz krzyknął: "Zdrowie Spółobywateli,
Wolnych, równych, Polaków!""


What Ryków thinks about them:
"Gniewny, że sam nie może dać ognia, bo w tłumie
Moskalów od Polaków rozróżnić nie umie,"


"Oj! wy Lachy! Ojczyzna! ja to wszystko czuję,
Ja Ryków; car tak każe, a ja was żałuję;"


He! Ojczyzna! Ja nie szpieg, a po polsku umiem -
Ojczyzna! Ja to czuję wszystko, ja rozumiem!
Wy Polaki, ja Ruski, teraz się nie bijem,
Jest armistycjum, to my razem jemy, pijem."


Górale are Polish, just like Kaszubi, Wielkopolanie, Mazowszanie, Litwini, Białorusini or Ukraińcy. They are all Polish.

It's more complicated than that, I'm afraid. After all, technically all Slavs used to be one people before. The reason why we aren't is because we've stopped identifying with each other. It's the same with us and Lithuanians: the Lithuanians of today are definitely NOT Poles and whatever Mickiewicz and others like him thought 200 years ago doesn't change the situation today.
Nathan 18 | 1,363
25 Feb 2010  #26
z siostrą swą

+

ażeby Polskęprzywrócono

Hm, what about that? Sisters, not some "Ojczyzna" and Poland sounds to be put in a passive mode, if I am correct here ;)

chorem okrzyknęli!

wszyscy klasnęli

I have never read this book, but it seems to be too pompous and fairy-like, especially the following:

ze łzami krzyknęli

Mówiąc, ciągle szlochał.

car tak każe, a ja was żałuję

myślą i łzami

Soap opera? ;) Nevertheless, there is still not definite mentioning from the author about his feelings towards Poland. Even the heros themselves clearly differentiate both lands and call them "sisters" in a shallowly hidden hope :) to grab again Lithuanian lands ;(. You see, Torq even in the 21st century has a big portion of his brain devoted to the feelings described by Adam in characters of some of his heros ;) Once again: "Litwo, Ojczyzna moja..." - the words said by the author himself, not by his heros!
vetala - | 382
26 Feb 2010  #27
Hm, what about that? Sisters, not some "Ojczyzna" and Poland sounds to be put in a passive mode, if I am correct here ;)

Why then 'Polskę przywrócono' and not 'Polskę i Litwę' or at least 'Rzeczpospolitą Obojga Narodów'? In my opinion it's because for Mickiewicz the word 'Polska' means Lithuania and the Crown together and 'Polacy' means both Lithuanians and 'Koronijasze'. Such as the word 'Britain' and 'British' mean not just the English but the Welsh too. Why else would characters in a story taking place in Lithuania call themselves 'Poles'? It's clear that 'Poland' and 'Poles' had broader meaning in the past.

Besides, like I said before, Mickiewicz's nationality doesn't matter, his love for Poland is clear and can't be denied. It's even better if we think of him as a Lithuanian because it proves that Lithuanians in the past loved Poland.
porzeczka - | 102
26 Feb 2010  #28
In my opinion it's because for Mickiewicz the word 'Polska' means Lithuania and the Crown together and 'Polacy' means both Lithuanians and 'Koronijasze'.

Here is a helpful quote from Mickiewicz, Books of the Polish Nation and its Pilgrimage:

The Lithuanian and the Masovian are brothers: do brothers quarrel because one hath for a name Władysław, another Witowt? Their last name is the same, the name of Poles.

Nathan 18 | 1,363
27 Feb 2010  #29
In a talk with Stefan Garczyński in Dresden (1832), Mickiewicz defined himself as "wild Lithuanian",

Mickiewicz was fortunate enough to have been born in a borderline region, which could be easily perceived as an Eastern European Scotland or Brittany. In his introduction to Ballads and Romances he praised the works of Scottish poets (writing in English), patterning himself as their counterpart, a Lithuanian poet of Polish language

But it doesn't matter, I am not going to waste my time on mediocrity. If I was a Lithuanian, I would never called him Lithuanian - he's not a bit worth it.
z_darius 14 | 3,969
27 Feb 2010  #30
You don't have one bit of idea what you are talking about, do you?

Have you read his works? Which parts would you like to quote as so bad? Go ahead, give us some examples. Or are you relying on UPA anti-Polish propaganda in your illustrious literary criticism?


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