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Jastrun (Agatstein), Mieczyslaw

JASTRUN (Agatstein), MIECZYSLAW (1903–1983), Polish poet, essayist, and translator. Born in Korolówka, Jastrun was one of the Skamander literary group. Philosophical reflection dominated such pre-World War II collections as Spotkanie w czasie ("Meeting in Time," 1929), Inna młodość ("Another Youth," 1933), and Strumień i milczenie ("Stream and Silence," 1937). During the years 1945–49, he was coeditor of the literary weekly Kuźnica. From the end of World War II his verse reflected the period of the Holocaust, notably in Godzina strzeżona ("The Guarded Hour," 1944), Rzecz ludzka ("Human Matter," 1946), Sezon w Alpach ("Season in the Alps," 1948), Rok urodzaju ("The Fertile Year," 1950), and Barwy ziemi ("Colors of Earth," 1951). Jastrun also wrote three biographical novels on great Polish poets: Mickiewicz (1949, 196711; Eng. tr. 1955; Heb. tr. 1956); Spotkanie z Salomeą ("Meeting with Salomea," 1951), on the poet Juliusz Slowacki; and Poeta i dworzanin ("The Poet and the Courtier," 1954), on the poet Jan Kochanowski. His volumes of essays include: Dzienniki i wspomnienia ("Diaries and Memoirs," 1955); Wizerunki: Szkice literackie ("Images: Literary Essays," 1956), on Polish and foreign writers; and Mit śródziemnomorski ("Mediterranean Myth," 1962). Selections of his verse were published in 1966 and 1968. Jastrun also edited Poezja Młodej Polski ("The Poetry of Young Poland," 1967), Wolnosć Wyboru "Freedom of Choice," essays, 1969) and Godła pamięci ("Memorials," poetry, 1969). Among Jastrun's outstanding translations are those from the works of Lorca, Pushkin, and Rilke. An independently minded Communist, Jastrun was one of the authors of the Manifest trzydziestu czterech ("Manifesto of the 34," 1964) against the cultural policy of the Polish Communist Party and government.


J. Trznadel, O poezji Mieczysława Jastruna (1954); A. Sandauer, Poeci trzech pokoleń (19622), ch. 8.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.