Jan Kochanowski Fraszki

Jan Kochanowski Fraszki

W 1584 a collection of poems by Jan Kochanowski was published in Kraków (the poet lived in years 1530 – 1584) pt. Trifles. That name (derived from the Italian word frasca, literally meaningful twig covered with leaves) it was Kochanowski who assimilated Polish literature.

Epigram – a short piece of poetry, most often playful, talking about the event or person, heavily pointed. In the past, narrative frills dominated, at present, the type of works based on linguistic wit prevails.

Kochanowski created the Polish genre pattern of the epigram, immediately giving it great formal richness. The poems of this writer tend to be small epigrams, epitaphs, anecdotes, they are also sometimes complex lyrical poems with a complex structure. Some of the epigrams (such as Raki) are kinds of puzzles, rebuses, whose hidden meaning becomes legible only after very careful reading, finding the key to interpret. Kochanowski also made use of dialogue, he made exquisitely constructed dramatic scenes (About doctor Spaniard), played on words, situational humor, verbal joke.

Epigram is a short piece of poetry (about long, tradition dating back to antiquity) with a clearly underlined punch line. For example, an epigram can be an epigram.

Epitaph – the most frequently verse tombstone inscription, also a poem praising the deceased, kept in the convention of the aforementioned inscription. This genre was well known in the poetry of ancient Greece and Rome, it was written as the so-called elegiac dysthym, that is, a two-line stanza.

In the best epigrams, Kochanowski presents himself as a poet masterfully using abbreviations, contrasting combinations, surprising punch lines. The author used different types of poem: from pentasyllin to two types of thirteen syllables, he built continuous and stanza poems, among the epigrams we can even find sonnets, sometimes very elaborate erotica. Proverbs were introduced into some texts, sentences, different concepts (np. verses read backwards contradicted this, as suggested by the same lines read in normal order), word games, sometimes quite distant associations.

Jan Kochanowski wrote almost three hundred epigrams. Many of them come from the so-called court period in the poet's work. Typical, at the same time artistically excellent, an example is the song About doctor Spaniard, it perfectly communicates the atmosphere of court games, mildly criticizing the lack of restraint in feasting. The nature of the court life at that time is also reflected in other trivia. There is a lot of ridicule of human flaws in them, vices – np. in Na Konrata or Na Nabożną. Kochanowski drew on themes from everyday court life, which he saw through the eyes of a satirist. Sufficient, the renaissance mansions of Zygmunt Stary and Zygmunt August were bursting with life, dozens of celebrations took place, social life flourished. It was no different at the magnate courts, the nobility did well, wealthier townspeople. It affected the literature itself, which was often used for fun, social entertainment, jokes – like most epigrams, which often circulated in copies among Kochanowski's friends.

Reflective pieces are of a different nature, often written after leaving royal Krakow, in Czarnolas. For example, the piece On human life is connected with the life of the poet, just like some of the other frills, it is an attempt to grasp the essence of human existence, considered through the prism of the author's individual experiences. In this playfulness, the hopelessness of fighting with a changing fate was emphasized. Everything passes, man cannot oppose the laws that govern the world, it is similar to a puppet, who, after playing her part, leaves the stage.

Fraszki was primarily intended to amuse the readers, however, on many occasions they went very far beyond this function. They became lyrical, reflective, sometimes even philosophical poems with notes of reverie, melancholy, self-mockery. They built a self-portrait of the poet, revealed his privacy, sometimes they had to shock their contemporaries with their moral boldness, the courage to build ironic images of recognized authorities. The writer himself divided these works into "serious" and "frivolous", he attributed different styles to them.