Adam Mickiewicz Monument Warsaw

Adam Mickiewicz Monument Warsaw

Adam Mickiewicz Monument in Warsaw.

Traveling along the Royal Way in Warsaw, you will find a monument dedicated to the famous romantic poet,playwright and activist, Adam Mickiewicz. He is regarded as one of the greatest poets in all Polish literature.

History and early years of Adam Mickiewicz.

Adam Mickiewicz was born in 1798. These were Russian partitioned territories, of the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. His home region was part of the Russian Empire and he became an activist to fight for independence and freedom. There is also a monument for him in Vilnius (Lithuania) and Nowogrudek (Belarus,Ukraine).

Due to his political activities he spent 5 years in exile and eventually lived the rest of his live abroad, first in Rome and then in Paris. Presumably he he died of cholera in Istanbul (1855) after trying to organize Polish and Jewish forces to fight Russia in the Crimean War. In 1890 his remains was sent back to Poland where he now is buried in the Wawel Cathedral in Kraków.

C. Godebski designed his monument and unveiled in 1898. It became a gathering place for people seeking freedom and peace. Sadly in 1942 the Nazis destroyed the monument and it was transferred to Hamburg. After the war they managed to recover the head and fragments of the torso. J.Szczepkowski and J.Trenarowski reconstructed it and it was unveiled in 1950.

Adam Mickiewicz Monument Warsaw
Adam Mickiewicz Monument in Warsaw, Poland.

A famous poem – Ode to the Youth.

Young poles looked up to Mickiewicz and his work became an inspiration to many. One of his poems that inspires young people is “Ode to the Youth”.

Ode to the Youth by Adam Mickiewicz.

Without hearts, souls, these are the skeletal people.
Add me the wings, adolescence!
Beyond lifeless world let me float,
paradise domain spectacle,
where a fervor makes miracle,
novelty it shakes florescence
and the golden pictures are dressed in hope.

Let the one whom age makes dizzy,
bending to earth forehead wrinkled,
such is seeing of world’s circle
as with dull eyes he draws busy.

The youth! You beyond the measure
fly, and with an eye of the sun
of people’s multitudes treasure,
permeate, from end to the end – run.

Look down – where the eternal fog endarkens,
area of indolence flooded by depths.
That’s Earth!
Look beyond her perturbed water,
jumped amphibian into shelter.
Oneself sailor, a helm, a ship;
small amphibian, on a pleasure trip.
Once is floating, once is falling
neither wave clings to him nor he to the wave,
then as bubble he burst on a large boulder rolling.
no one knew his life, knew his fate:
these are egoists.

The youth! To you nectar of life,
for now sweat, when with others shared:
blue hearts are plied with joy in strife,
when together are bound by a golden thread.

Together young friends!
In happiness of all are all targets;
in oneness strong, minded to euphoria.
Together young friends!
And this one is blessed, who fell in duty,
with a fallen body in glory,
gave others a rung to victory.
Together young friends!

Even though the way is steep and slippery.
Weakness and rape are defending entry:
the rape by the rape is pressed,
to overcome weakness, in youth we shall learn!

As a child in a crib who the Hydra’s head did take,
that one as young will Centaurs’ suffocate,
from hell he will pull out offerings,
to heaven he will go for his sufferings.
Reach there, where eyesight won’t reach;
brake, what mind won’t brake.
Youth! Eagle’s might is your flight,
as a thunder is your arm.

Hey! Shoulder to shoulder! With the people’s chains.
let us shoot our thoughts in one fire,
and in one fire, souls’ desire.
Earthy circle’s, peace we shall gain.
Further solid from post of World!
Onto new we shall push you track
till you will dispose mildew bark.
You will resemble young life broad.

And as in countries of night and disarray,
calamity quarrel disturb,
you become one, God’s rule obey.
World of things stands on the verge tough,
roaring are winds, the depths are rough –
dark sky will be lit up by stars.

Yet in the countries of mankind deaf is night:
elements of will are yet at war;
here love is, as fire in word,
from discord will come, future bright:
youth will conceive it fraternal
and friendship will last eternal.
The icebergs are melting away,
bias obstructing is light span.
Morn of freedom with us will stay,
behind it reviving is sun.

Written 1820, Translated by Art Wielgus 2002

Where: Krakowskie Przedmieście, Warsaw, Poland


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