A Harder Arcadia: A Vision of Nature in the Dialect Poetry of the Gorce Poet Antonina Zachara-Wnękowa

Anna Mlekodaj

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/LL.4-5.2019.007


Podhale is a region that can boast over a century-long literary tradition. Inspired by the Podhale's current Polish literature, educated Highlanders, at the beginning of the twentieth century, initiated a non-folkloric trend of dialect prose and poetry. They elevated the native dialect to the level of the language of poetry. The Podhale literature has therefore been created by five generations of poets. Their work is a unique and original reflection of the perception of the world through a micro-society with a strong cultural identity and a deep attachment to the tradition of Podhale. The radical changes that have taken place in the Highlander villages in recent decades have always enhanced the tendency of the Podhale literature to idealize the past. Already in the 1970s, the old simple rural life was supplanted by modernity, which both brought prosperity and became the reason for alienating people from the natural world. Under the influence of civilizational changes, Podhale - once a land of shepherds and farmers living in the mountains and forests - gradually lost its connection with nature. Its contemporary inhabitants are no longer living according to natural rhythms, nor do they have time to contemplate nature. The article focuses on the analysis of the Arcadian vision of nature created in the dialect poetry of Antonina Zachara-Wnękowa, who sees the basic condition for human happiness in returning to nature and living in harmony with it.


dialect poetry; arcadia; nature, present day; highlander village

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