Andrzej Strumiłło

A farewell credo and artistic crowning of Strumiłło’s prolific oeuvre


I feel time accelerating
The skin of my hands
Resembles ravines
Veins – strong branches
I bend towards earth
I seek a moment and a place

24 August 2016

A Wooden Bird on a Windowsill

Two swans through a window
A day full of clouds
A ring of black on a palette
Today Synaxarium from Mount Athos
Recalls St. Isidore from Pelusium
Who lived on grass and leaves
I lift my brush over the space
Black is my prayer

4 February 2018


When I leave
The view through the window will remain
A pair of swans in a bay
A bent tree
Mossy stones
The book of poets and prophets
A spot left by a fly on the window

15 February 2018


We march
Each with a sack on our shoulders
With foreign lives in it
Above us banners
And what behind?
A sip of cold tea
Sleepless nights
A trace of breath among clouds

27 March 2017


I lie on a bed by Thuiszorg Groningen
It’s a gift from the rich
Previously used by many
Their breath sweat, and urine
Left rusty traces
In solidarity with pain

hospital, Suwałki, 21 March 2017

Translated by Ew a Chrusciel

Andrzej Strumiłło

A farewell credo and artistic crowning of Strumiłło’s prolific oeuvre

Publisher: Galeria Strumiłło, Maćkowa Ruda 2019
Translation rights: Anna Strumiłło, anna.strumiłło@gmail.com

69 is the title of Andrzej Strumiłło’s collection of poems which together with drawings and photographs constitutes an interesting example of correspondence of the arts. Unfortunately, it is the last collection of the author, who passed away in April 2020.

Hence, we can treat 69 as the farewell credo and artistic crowning of his prolific oeuvre.

What is, then, the essence of these final lyrics? They gather over the decades, short reflections about the world, people, and being, which condense spacious concepts and reveal life experience and a stoic containment of language and form. This brevity and spaciousness make Strumiłło’s poems accessible, yet composed of important topics in his existential reflection on reality. In the collection, we find poems posing questions about the first and last cause of being. Reflections on the end of life permeate the poetic tissue of the poems and transpire into an insight about a second dimension.

These poems oscillate between topoi of vanitas; a realistic self-portrait of an old man, and an eschatological vision which expresses his own version of non omnis moriar. Lyrical impressions liberate a subject from rational frames of the world, forming the allegory of human life with a subtle metaphysical note. Strumiłło’s work demonstrates that cognitive synthesis is possible and most effective in old age, thus superseding a contemporary understanding of the world. It gives the reader a voice which is hard to find within herself.

Tomasz Pyzik

Translated by Ewa Chrusciel

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Małgorzata Rejmer
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