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Polish Translations of "Poets to Come"

Whitman's "Poets to Come" was translated into Polish eight times between 1922 and 2003. No other poem by Whitman was translated into Polish so many times over such a long time span. Some of his poems were not translated until the twenty-first century, and others still remain unknown to Polish speakers. Most of the translators of "Poets to Come" are poets and/or literary critics or academics. Though none of the poets can be considered "canonical," their literary achievements are quite important. The "poets to come" are supposed to answer, to "justify and define" the poet, and to continue his poetic mission. The many translations that have appeared in Polish may be considered answers to Whitman's call, particularly because each of the translators gives an answer in his own way. If the original poem seems quite simple at first glance, the singularity of each translation of "Poets to Come" reveals the poem's latent complexity.

All eight Polish translations of "Poets to Come" are available below, along with an introductory essay by Marta Skwara, which discusses the different translations. The final translation available below is the first Polish translation of the original published version of "Poets to Come," which first appeared in 1860 as "Chants Democratic 14."


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