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Tadeusz Śliwiak

Tadeusz Śliwiak

Ta nasza młodość (That Youth of Ours)

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Tadeusz Śliwiak, Ta nasza młodość (That Youth of Ours)

She can be found among pebbles,
In a brook rapid light,
She whisks along trees
And branches as squirrels,

She is a spark in a stone,
She is milk in a nut,
She is curious about the world
Like a copper coin in a money bag…

That youth of ours,
Of bones and blood,
That youth of ours,
Mocking at time,
That is always on a move…
She that happens for the first,
And then the second time…

That youth of ours,
That joyful time,
That pair of wings,
Folded inside us…

She is a flower in hair,
The first vinegar in apples,
And the bitter beer – head,
In a bustling inn of the world,

She is an unfulfilled rebellion,
That dies on a heart-attack,
She gives you only that,
What she takes away from others…

That youth of ours,
Of bones and blood…

Tadeusz Śliwiak, Ta nasza młodość (That Youth of Ours)

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Tadeusz Śliwiak

(b. in Lviv on 23 January 1928, d. in Krakow on 3 December) – poet, translator author of children’s books, journalist. A member of the Polish Writers Association. From 1948 he was connected with Krakow. Graduated from the State Higher Acting School (Now the PWST National Academy of Theatre Arts) in Krakow (1948-1953), where he studied together with Zbigniew Cybulski, Bogumił Kobiela, Leszek Herdegen and Kalina Jędrusik. Still a student, he started his career as an actor in the Rapsodyczny Theatre (1949-50), and later the Theatre of Poetry. In the years 1953-1960 he was an actor at the Helena Modrzejewska Stary Theatre in Krakow. In 1960 he quit acting but he did not break his ties with the theatre – he was the literary director at the Rozmaitości Theatre (1960-1963). Along with a group of poets and artists he created and was an editor at ”Zebra” literary and art magazine (1956-1958). In 1952 he started his cooperation with ”Życie Literackie” magazine, and from 1967 ran its poetry department. Editor-in-chief of ”Magazyn Kulturalny" (1975-1984). Co-founder and member of the Krakow literary group Barbarus (1967-1972). From 1977 collaborated with Łazienki Group of Poets and Painters. A member of the Poets’ Confraternity. From 1953 a member of the Union of Polish Writers and from 1984 of the new Union of Polish Writers (from 1985 a member of its Executive Board). In 1947 he debuted as an author by publishing his poem Chaim in ”Słowo Polskie” in Wrocław. His first volume of poetry Drogi i ulice was published in 1954. A year earlier his poem about Nicolaus Copernicus Astrolabium z jodłowego drzewa saw print. His poems were published on the literary press in Poland and abroad. He wrote many poems and books for children. He also wrote lyrics to many Polish songs, including such hits as Krakowska kwiaciarka and Kocaraba and poetic songs (e.g. Niebieski młyn sang by Marek Grechuta and Skaldowie). He was also connected with Piwnica pod Baranami cabaret (he authored one of its famous songs: Ta nasza młodość). He translated from German, Ukrainian and French. He also translated Russian poetry, including Bulat Okudzhava, and Hungarian poetry. In the years 1962-1967 he was the head of the Artistic Programme Editorial Section at Polish TV in Krakow; in the years 1969-76 he was the author of programmes for children at the Polish TV station in Krakow. Decorated with the Gold Cross of Merit (1975), the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1986), the medal of merit for the service to culture.

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