Marzanna Bogumiła Kielar

  • fot. Ela Lempp

The poet Marzanna Bogumiła Kielar whom one critic has called the "Polish Sappho" was born in 1963. She lives in Warsaw and teaches philosophy. Her entry on the literary scene was a tour de force: Sacra Conversazione, her first collection of twenty-six lyrics was published by a small provincial publisher. It was showered with enough awards to assure its author a place on the contemporary Polish Parnassus. "The Polish Sappho" is no exaggeration. Her poetry is marked by a distinctly female point of view. In interviews, the poet herself has stressed the differentness of the female method of writing. In Kielar's poetry we find an acceptance of existence and a tenderness towards the world, a readiness for a prayerful contemplation of its beauty, admiration of the miracle of dawn and evening, and finally a sweet and attentive love for what is worth loving. The world of a friendly, mystery-filled summertime garden is the scenery in which Kielar's poems happen. It would almost be a garden of paradise if not for the fact that the garden contains both love and death. Many of the poems are erotic lyrics, yet the death that is present within them evokes neither terror nor discord - it is one more form of initiation and of the sense that fulfills existence. This is poetry of philosophical reflection, of erotic and thanatic imagination, invariably marked by respect for what is real and describable through the language of the five senses. The verse itself is full of suggestive metaphors that recall studied photographs in which everything seems to exist fully and distinctly, washed with a purifying light, offering peace and calm.

"When I think about poetry, it is as if I stood face to face with what cannot be named. For me, poetry is an attempt at familiarizing myself with what strikes me as final. I try to give it a name - for myself." – Marzanna Bogumila Kielar


  • Sacra conversazione, Suwałki: Suwalskie Towarzystwo Kultury, 1992.
  • Materia Prima, Poznań: Obserwator, 1999.
  • Umbra, Warszawa: Prószyński i s-ka, 2002.
  • Monodia, Kraków: Znak, 2006.
  • Brzeg, Warszawa: Łośgraf, 2010.



  • Salt Monody, trans. Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese, Brookline: Zephyr Press, 2006


  • In den Rillen eisiger Stunden [wybrane wiersze], Stuttgart: Akad. Schloss Solitude, 2000.