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Unforgettable quotes about Poland and Poles from Polish and world`s history and culture

OP pawian 222 | 24,304
2 Apr 2019 #61
Janusz Korwin-Mikke is a vital part of Polish contemporary political culture.

Of course, I didn`t mean his person. After all, I quoted Molotov so you had the right to quote Korwin and we have perfect balance in nature. :):) I meant that the quote you offered us wasn`t exclusively about Poles but about voters in general, especially European ones, because he made that remark about European elections, didn`t he?

Let's take Churchill for example. he has produced a handful of interesting, inspiring and thought provoking quotes.

It`s a pity you didn `t mention the one about Poles.

There are few virtues that the Poles do not possess-and there are few mistakes they have ever avoided.
OP pawian 222 | 24,304
3 Apr 2019 #62
Funny, I have just found out that the Leitmotif of the Polish national anthem functions as a saying in the German language:
Noch ist Polen nicht verloren/ Poland is not lost yet- there is still hope, nothing is really lost yet.
jon357 74 | 21,966
3 Apr 2019 #63
Arthur Miller wrote this:

"There is one thing I like about the Poles-their language. Polish, when it is spoken by intelligent people, puts me in ecstasy. The sound of the language evokes strange images in which there is always a greensward of fine spiked grass in which hornets and snakes play a great part."
Lyzko 45 | 9,383
3 Apr 2019 #64
Always thought of Arthur Miller as a great playwrite. I didn't realize he was also perceptive in other areas of language too!
Thanks for sharing that quotation, jon!
jon357 74 | 21,966
3 Apr 2019 #65
Some of the rest of the quote is less positive. He liked hearing the language, however wasn't much impressed by the people he knew who spoke it.

There's a quote that goes something like "I've never met a Pole that doesn't jump to conclusions". I wish I could remember who wrote it. I've met some who don't, and many many who do.
Lyzko 45 | 9,383
3 Apr 2019 #66
Undoubtedly, his exposure to Polish people, quite apart from the language, was limited to those Polish immigrants whom he encountered while living in Chicago!

Often, Americans can get an unfavorable impression of certain groups based usually on the class of people who are representative of that society here in the US, normally not from the upper eschelons.
jon357 74 | 21,966
3 Apr 2019 #67
For sure. Of course he was of Polish descent himself; his family were part of a minority group. In the same text (his book, "Sexus") he wrote that the Poles he was describing were: "smooth−tongued, overly polite, pretentious and thoroughly false". The passage as a whole (it's probably online somewhere) is rather beautifully writen.

normally not from the upper echelons.

I suspect the people he was referring to were rather posh (or at least monied and pretentious). He certainly described their elegant clothes and their manners in huge detail.

Another famous quote was from someone (Quentin Crisp, also a writer) who used to look after Polish refugees in the 1930s, one of whom was an nationalist who had (as they often do) psychiatric problems. In his autobiography he covered this period of his life and wrote:

'Poland is not a nation, but an unsound state of mind'
Lyzko 45 | 9,383
4 Apr 2019 #68
True what you said about Miller's exposure to Polish people, but as a writer especially, he was probably prone to outrageous statements! Writers typically like to be known by their colorful utterance, not to mention their behavior away from the typewriter. Just look for example at literati as different in temperment as Alexander Wolcott, Ernest Hemingway or John O'Hara.

The first enjoyed shocking through scandalously anti-Semitic tirades, the second with adventurous exploits, and the latter of the three by sometimes "mock" threatening visitors whom he spied coming up the walkway to his house by aiming a shotgun in their direction, sometimes even firing it in the air, delighted by the startling effect it could have on his "guests".

Shock value was Miller's stock in trade.

Incidentally, he identified his nationality as American, but his ethnicity as Jewish rather than Polish-:)
jon357 74 | 21,966
4 Apr 2019 #69
as a writer especially, he was probably prone to outrageous statements!

Certainly yes. That was something he did very well. It's worth reading the quote in context; it's a beautiful passage.

Hector Hugh Munro (Saki) wrote a short story where one of the characters (who is only referred to) was a Polish Count that several rather posh English widows were competing for; one of them got him and was about to go to Poland for a new life. There was a certain amount of speculation about whether he was actually a real Count or a fake and what his new wife would find.

I wish I could get hold of the story (I looked for it online when I was teaching in PL; it would do well for anyone of intermediate level or above) but couldn't find either a print copy or a digital one. It has some interesting quotes in. Unfortunately it isn't one of his better-known stories. Saki knew Poland and Poles fairly well; he spent several years living in Warsaw and had connections in Lviv (then Lemberg).
Atch 22 | 4,111
4 Apr 2019 #70
Oh, I love his short stories :)) The first one I read was The Lumber Room when I was about thirteen. I don't think he spent that long in Warsaw though Jon. His first Warsaw byline for the Morning Post was in early 1904 and by the Autumn he was in Russia and seems to have spent the next two years there. He apparently frequently referred in his dispatches to Slavic indifference to major events, bloody or peaceful, local or international and the apathy of merchants whom he says would rather spend their time sipping tea than making a sale - shades of that still to be found in some Polish establishments :) He said he found it easier to do business with the Jewish merchants in Warsaw than their Christian counterparts. He also said "To the Jew in Warsaw is meted out a wealth of disfavour and contempt that is hardly pleasant to witness. The British visitor however, who normally lives far from any personal contact with these huge Jewish populations, is not altogether in a position to pass judgement on this anti-Semitic rancour. It pervades all classes of Polish society."
Spike31 3 | 1,813
4 Apr 2019 #71
One of my favourite quotes from Kisielewski:

"The use of coercion results from disbelief in argumentation."

~Stefan Kisielewski
OP pawian 222 | 24,304
4 Apr 2019 #72
Again, you are littering the thread with sth silly which doesn`t pertain exclusively to Poles or Poland but is a general statement of universal meaning which can be said about any nation or country in the world.

It is really strange - in other threads you sound like an intelligent person while here you seem a halfwit who doesn` t inderstand basic things. Why? :):)

The title reads: Quotes ABOUT Poles, and not any quotes by Poles.
Miloslaw 19 | 4,824
4 Apr 2019 #73
Why does the conversation have to stick so rigidly to the title?
That is not how normal conversation flows,quite often normal conversation flies off in other tangents.
What is wrong with that?
OP pawian 222 | 24,304
4 Apr 2019 #74
When a conversation flies off, it is OK because it proves that the thread is necessary when people want to discuss it.

But when members intentionally or out of ignorance litter it with sth that doesn`t pertain to the subject matter, it is not OK. Spike can start another thread called "Any Quotes BY Poles about everything" and I don`t care.

But forum users who might drop in here expect to read about sth really Polish, not universal words of wisdom which they can find anywhere on the Net. When they see Spike`s and his sort`s rubbish, they will leave in disappointment and never come back. In this way we will lose them, only because some halfwits can`t keep order in their minds and the forum too.

So, Milo, what did you learn about Polish things from Spike`s recent litter? Here you are : "The use of coercion results from disbelief in argumentation."
Spike31 3 | 1,813
4 Apr 2019 #75
I've got a juicy quote for you all so you won't drown in self-flagellation of this thread :-)

"Work in the spirit of healthy nationalism. Not chauvinism, but just healthy nationalism, that is, love the Nation and serve him."

~Stefan Wyszynski, a Polish Cardinal, called Primate of the Millennium, who stood against Nazism and Communism.

PS: Don't be deceived by a lack of words such as "Poles" or "Polish" in the quote, since those words were aimed directly to Poles.
OP pawian 222 | 24,304
4 Apr 2019 #76
Yes, exactly, at last! I am so proud of you, you did it! :):)

As for Wyszyński`s words, they are great, but let`s remember that healthy nationalism is just another word for patriotism - loving your nation and serving it - that`s what many Polish heroes did in history and we call them patriots, not nationalists.
Spike31 3 | 1,813
4 Apr 2019 #77
@pawian, That's a bit childish behaviour you know. And you are a teacher, an educator am I right? :-)

At least use a better quality techniques. If I may suggest, I would advise you to read "Psychomanipulacje" by T.Witkowski.

And no, the Cardinal didn't use the word patriotism, but nationalism. He wasn't a man who wouldn't choose his words wisely.
Lyzko 45 | 9,383
4 Apr 2019 #78
Point of information, gang!

What's the exact difference between a "prelate" vs. "a primate", since I always learned in biology class that a primate was some type of

monkey. Only within the past twenty years or so did I hear of a cleric being referred to as a "primate" which I found most amusing indeed:-)
OP pawian 222 | 24,304
4 Apr 2019 #79
Primate - a priest with the highest position in his country: He was made the Roman Catholic Primate of All Ireland last year.
Lyzko 45 | 9,383
4 Apr 2019 #80
Thanks, pawian.

Any relation then to our simian ancestors is purely coincidental, I take it:-)
OP pawian 222 | 24,304
5 Apr 2019 #81
"There is one thing I like about the Poles-their language.

That`s interesting. Does the Polish language sound different to foreigners when it is spoken by intelligent guys or simpletons?
delphiandomine 88 | 18,163
5 Apr 2019 #82
Yes, very much so. Polish when spoken by simpletons has that "shhhshshhsh" sound that other Slavic language speakers mock as being characteristically Polish, whereas educated speakers of Polish speak clearly and everything is articulated properly.

For instance, take a Regio train to a poor region. You'll hear plenty of "shshshsssh" going on, whereas it's rare to hear it on a domestic LOT flight.
jon357 74 | 21,966
5 Apr 2019 #83
Does the Polish language sound different

Anyone who lives in PL long enough can distinguish between sociolects, and the major regional variations in sound.
mafketis 37 | 10,828
6 Apr 2019 #84
Regio train to a poor region. You'll hear plenty of "shshshsssh" going on, whereas it's rare to hear it on a domestic LOT flight.

I'm not sure what you mean by shshshshsh.... I remember being on a LOT flight with a Croat (who had a lot of passive knowledge of Polish but had almost never spoken it) when he heard the announcements he was pleasantly surprised by how clear it sounded and he was surprised when I said it sounded normal..

My impressionistic description of the Polish of undereducated people is less shshshsh and more bwahbwahbwah... sounds like sz and ś are often under-articulated (though with devoiced vowels which might make them stand out more for you) and some pronounce w [v] as a stop which is weird... but it's the intonation that really sets it apart (and sounds a bit like an aggrieved infant). Educated usage sounds much more pleasant.

the major regional variations in sound

To the extent they exist.... standard Polish has steamrolled most of the old dialects which are by now mostly mild accents, there are differences but subtle and they do take time to notice.
jon357 74 | 21,966
6 Apr 2019 #85
To the extent they exist.... standard Polish has steamrolled most of the old dialects

Post-war movement is partly (though not only) to blame for that. Nevertheless, some accents (Podlasie, Górny Śląsk and Poznań in particular) really stand out.


The 'old' Warsaw accent (usually now only heard among older people in Praga, for the obvious reason) is like that.

bwahbwahbwah ..... (and sounds a bit like an aggrieved infant)

This is how I used to hear it.

please stick to the topic, everyone
OP pawian 222 | 24,304
6 Apr 2019 #86
Please forgive us but when we post a quote about Poland or Poles, we need to discuss its meaning and validity. :):)

Polish when spoken by simpletons

Oh yes, that is why Russian forumers on their sites call Poles: Pshek/Psheks. :):)
Spike31 3 | 1,813
6 Apr 2019 #87
I think the most proper Polish is spoken in Lublin Voivodeship

Polish when spoken by simpletons has that "shhhshshhsh"

Do I have to tell what's an Englishmen opinion about Scottish English? So don't be so judgemental, especially since you're not a native Polish speaker.

* Don't get me wrong, Scottish-En is funny but I personally like it :-)
OP pawian 222 | 24,304
25 May 2019 #88
When I was a boy scout, we used to sing that scouting song:

`Cause all Poles are one family,
Both young and old, boy and girl,
OP pawian 222 | 24,304
27 Jul 2019 #89
Julien Bryan, Am photographer in wartime Poland, said: If Spartans lived, they would pay tribute to Poles.

One day these words by Trump might become historical, who knows? :) He told the journalists about his September visit to Poland (prolonged to 2 days):

"I look forward to it. I like the people,"

Should I feel honoured? :):)
mafketis 37 | 10,828
31 Jul 2019 #90
When I was a boy scout, we used to sing that scouting song

So it's not originally from disco polo?

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