Today’s Google Doodle denotes 185th Anniversary of the Publication of Pan Tadeusz Poem. On this day in 1834, the Polish Romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz published his masterpiece, Pan Tadeusz, often thought to be one of the last incredible epic poems in European literature. Written in Paris, the 12-part saga captures the spirit of Poland when quite a bit of its region was partitioned between Russia, Prussia, and Austria.
What is Pan Tadeusz?
Pan Tadeusz (full title in English: Sir Thaddeus, or the Last Lithuanian Foray: A Nobleman’s Tale from the Years of 1811 and 1812 Pan Twelve Books of Verse; Polish original: Pan Tadeusz, czyli ostatni zajazd na Litwie. Historia szlachecka z roku 1811 i 1812 we dwunastu księgach wierszem) is an epic poem by the Polish poet, writer and philosopher Adam Mickiewicz. The book was first published in June 1834 in Paris, and is considered by numerous individuals to be the last extraordinary epic poem in European literature.
Pan Tadeusz is perceived as the national epic of Poland. It is mandatory reading in Polish schools. A film dependent on the poem was made in 1999 by Andrzej Wajda. It is written in Polish alexandrines.
Set during the years 1811 and 1812 in a Lithuanian town, the narrative focuses on a feud between two prominent families, convoluted by the adoration between Tadeusz and a daughter of the adversary family named Zosia. A rebel against the local Russian garrison unites the families, propelled by a shared enthusiasm to reestablish Poland to its previous glory: “When talk was to raise Poland again from this rubble.”
Required reading in Polish schools, Pan Tadeusz has been translated into numerous languages and adapted into TV and movie versions, most recently in 1999 by Polish director Andrzej Wajda. Adam Mickiewicz composes with incredible inclination, expressing his adoration and longing for all parts of Polish life from the landscape (“These fields, painted with various grain, gilded with wheat, silvered with rye”), to the nourishment (“mere words cannot tell of its wondrous taste, colour and marvellous smell”), to even the wildlife (“No frogs croak as divinely as Polish ones do”).