Constitution and poetry

Ewa Łętowska


This essay (given at the PENClub Polska) deals with the relationship between constitutional matters and poetry. The essay takes a closer look at the poetry of Adam Zagajewski, Marcin Świetlicki, Julian Tuwim and Adam Bieszek. “There is nothing on us in the Constitution” – Marcin Świetlicki angrily declaims the bitterness of civil rejection in the poem “Under the volcano”. However, the poet is not right. The Constitution sometimes means more than it says directly. If it is silent about something, that does not always amount to rejection, as Świetlicki claims. The two first parts of the essay explain why the poet could have made such a mistake as to his presence in the Constitution. The third part expounds the change that is taking place in Poland: the rejection of the foundations of the Constitution without changing its text.


Constitution; poetry; civic rejection; constitutionalism

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