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Exposed to culture from an early age


'Jula the poet'
Julia Hartwig Poet
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During my school years – perhaps I'll say a little about how this developed – namely... I was already beginning to write in school and I have to say that it was generally known in school because it turns out that what happens is one poet among 300 people, so that's quite a significant distinction; and they even called me 'Jula the poet' which I found terribly amusing because at that time, of course, I wanted to study medicine – it seemed to me to be... well, it was a youthful, romantic notion. But these introductions and these albums resulted from my familiarity with his photographs because he would invite me to his place after he'd been on a quest to find interesting material, he'd prepare the photos and then he'd invite me to look at the pictures with him, and he was always interested to know which ones I'd pick out. I think that whenever somebody looked at his work, he was always interested to know what each person liked. It's the same with poets because I, for instance, like it when someone has a volume of my poetry, but selects one particular poem that they like.

W okresie szkolnym – może w okresie szkolnym, króciutko opowiem, jak to się rozwijało – mianowicie... Po prostu już w szkole ja zaczynałam pisać i muszę powiedzieć, że jak gdyby taka wiedza o tym taka była dość powszechna w szkole, bo okazuje się, że to... to właściwie to się tak zdarza jeden poeta na... na 300 osób, więc dosyć to duże wyróżnienie i nawet mnie tak nazywała „Jula poetka”, co mnie strasznie śmieszyło; bo oczywiście wtedy chciałam być raczej na medycynie – tak mi się tak wydawało, że to takie... taka żeromszczyzna młoda. Ale te... te wstępy i te albumy oczywiście powstawały na podstawie mojej bardzo dobrej znajomości jego fotografii, ponieważ zapraszał mnie do siebie po... po okresach jakichś ciekawych poszukiwań, przygotowywał zdjęcia i zapraszał mnie, żebyśmy je razem oglądali i bardzo był ciekaw zawsze, co ja wyróżniam. Myślę, że każdy, kto oglądał, to on byłby ciekawy u każdego, co mu się podoba. To podobnie jak poeci, a na przykład ja też lubię, jak ktoś ma mój tomik, ale wybierze także jakiś wiersz, który mu się podoba.

Born to a Polish father and a Russian mother, Julia Hartwig (1921-2017) was a Polish poet, essayist, translator and author of children's books. She studied at the University of Warsaw, the Catholic University in Lublin and the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. Czesław Miłosz called her 'the grande dame of Polish poetry'. Julia Hartwig was one of the few poets in Poland who made masterly use of poetic prose. She translated poems by Apollinaire, Rimbaud, Max Jacob, Cendrars and Supervielle, and published monographs on Apollinaire and Gerard de Nerval. She also translated from English, and published a large anthology of American poetry which she co-edited in 1992 with her late husband, the poet Artur Międzyrzecki.

Listeners: Andrzej Wolski

Film director and documentary maker, Andrzej Wolski has made around 40 films since 1982 for French television, the BBC, TVP and other TV networks. He specializes in portraits and in historical films. Films that he has directed or written the screenplay for include Kultura, which he co-directed with Agnieszka Holland, and KOR which presents the history of the Worker’s Defence Committee as told by its members. Andrzej Wolski has received many awards for his work, including the UNESCO Grand Prix at the Festival du Film d’Art.

Tags: Edward Hartwig

Duration: 1 minute, 21 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2010

Date story went live: 10 May 2011