Agitato na pięć bodziszków

Andrzej Dąbrówka

Agitato na pięć bodziszków


Twarz jako kwiatki mieszane 
Lelijowe i różane (Jan Kochanowski)




wy tu stoicie
a wasze cienie tańczą
i lgną drżą i prą


jestem jedna biel

co zmielę zmierzę i ci dam licz do pięciu i

ją bierz mieś piecz jedz byś miał czym jako stacz

z pławaczkami lataczkami w balans bieli

pięcioskrzydle grać

009bodziszek-bialy 035bodz-bialy 018bodz-bialy 020bodz-bialy ??????????????????????????????? 045bodz-niebo-icon




wy tu tańczycie
a wasze cienie walczą

sfruwają z firmamentu ostre

pstrągi błękitu dają nura w śnieżny

ocean łapią się w żyłek wzór a gdy strzepują śnieg

wmarzają w tło które się staje bielsze

jak antyniebo od antychmur

003bodziszek-pstry-kwp 001bodz-pstry3-kwp 006geranium-agitato-kwp 007bodziszek-pstragi 144bodziszek-pstry-pstragi-d-kwp 013pstry-d-kwp 015bodziszek-pstry-d-kwp 019geranium-patched-plant 016pstry-niebo-kwp 008bodz-pstry-niebo-kwp 024geranium-sky-kwp 018bodziszek-pstragi2 018pstry-faktura 035geranium-agitato 033geranium-patch-bud 038bodz-pstry-kwp 115bodziszek-pstry-liczydwp 040bodz-pstry-niknie 036bodziszek-niknie 053bodziszek-faktura-d 036bodziszek-niknie2 038bodz-pstry-krople1 042bodz-pstry-dwp 028bodz-pstry-nasiona-kwp 042bodz-pstry-icon




wy tu walczycie
 wasze cienie płaczą


mam pień w pniu czarną pompę znów

i znów osuszam grząski grunt nawilżam wszystkie oczy

obliczam wzór na fiolet z łąk patrząc na dół chmur

sięgając z kolan do ich ust tornada skręcam sznur

ale go rytm przerywa sinych ultramaryn

002geranium-willow-pattern 007bodz-omka-balans 018ger-tree-bodz-lakowy 030geranium-life 034bodziszek-s24 035bodziszek-k 023geranium-light 036geranium-pratense-agitato-kwp 053bodziszek-grupa 074siedzicie-kwp ???????? ???????? 071geranium-shadows ???????? ???????? 322bodziszek-cienie 110geranium-agitated ???????? 111bodziszek-swiatlo-kwp ???????? 146bodz-cienie-spod 148bodziszek-para-kwp 149geranium-agitato ???????? 036geranium-pratense-agitato-icon




wy tu płaczecie
a wasze cienie patrzą


niosę amarant tam gdzie się przerzedził

sad i zbladł blask prawd błąd zakwitł wzrósł las kłamstw

tłoczę co mam lecz żadna z barw jeśli ma żyć nie wchłonie

więcej krwi bo ją zabłoci czerń

bagienny zgniecie głaz

005geranium 006geranium 080bodz-blotny-kwp 028bodz-blotny-kwp 028geranium-agitato 040bodz-blotny-swiatlo 092bodz-cienie 080geranium-agitato 082bodz-blotny-cienie 083bodz-cienie 102bodziszek-blotny2-kwp ???????? 102bodziszek-kwp 009geranium-bud 009geranium-icon




wy tu patrzycie
a wasze cienie w oczach
giną nikną mrą


weź żagla piędź płatków nieba

i chmur po pięć haków na kotwiczkę pięć

i spleć a kowal brosz to skuje na błyszcz i spiecze

na brąz spali na żałób pięć na pięć próz

hymnów dla wdów

083bodziszek-zalobny-kwp 026bodziszek-zalobny 027bodziszek-zalobny 046bodziszek-zalobny ??????????????????????????????? 086bodz-zalobny-dkwp 086bodz-zalobny-icon

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scribes and letters

 this scribe sigh-murmurs 

reading words grown-written green

flawlessly fuzzy


















Photos of 1.Nov.2012, haiku 26 April 2014

© A. Dąbrówka

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Easter Trope Drama

Liturgical factors  (language, people, ceremonies and institutions) are not likely to decrease their importance for the explanation of earliest drama.

It is so obvious, that no such discussion is any more possible in the search for the sources of vernacular religious poetry. I don’t know how many European languages have to point to a Latin liturgical sequence as source of its first poem or carol that was created and performed as vernacular trope needed to accompany the Latin singing.

In Central Europe the Latin Easter sequence Victimae paschali laudes… gave birth to vernacular tropes in German, Czech, Polish and Hungarian – performed as Easter procession songs parallel to the sequence Victime paschali laudes. All of them are reflecting the sequence’s words surrexit Christus (from the verse 3b: Angelicos testes…), and they share the melody drawn from its beginning verse.

In my paper I want to pay attention to the second part of the Victime-sequence:

2b. Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando,
Dux vitae mortuus, regnat vivus.

Its content is an extremely compressed Redemption history, echoing or preceding the separate episodes as Processus-Belial, the Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection of Christ. In the duel between devil and Christ, represented metaphorically by Death and Life we can find the starting point of the long career of narrative and visual genres developed around the character of personified Death, known best from the death dances, but preceded by treatises, short narratives, dialogues and simple dramas. Some of  them will be reflected upon.



Andrzej Dąbrówka (Warszawa)

Mors et Vita – Another Easter Trope Drama?

The duel between death and life: Victimae paschali laudes (2b)

The literary style of allegoresis generated a rich harvest, whose diversity makes it impossible to assess its volume or even to only estimate numbers of works or its percentage. The main technique in question, the personification, can be found everywhere in all genres, not only in lyrical poems or in heroic epics (frequent parodies included), further in moralizing and didactic works, also used in school curricula and preachers repertoires, even allowed in theological exegesis. More than that, we see allegoresis applied in liturgical texts undergoing very strict procedures of promulgation executed by bodies rather suspicious towards imaginary and visual expression, and allowing it only after deep consideration, or tolerating its strong embedding in tradition.

A good case in point can be the Easter sequence Victimae paschali laudes, one of a few left after the Tridentine reform bringing discipline in rituals and forms of liturgy and removing most of the apocryphal narration and poetic invention.


Victimae paschali laudes

immolent christiani


2a|         Agnus redemit oves Christus innocens patri

reconciliavit peccatores

2b|         Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando

dux vitae mortuus regnat vivus


3a|         Dic nobis Maria quid vidisti in via

sepulcrum Christi viventis et gloriam vidi resurgentis

3b|         Angelicos testes sudarium et vestes

surrexit Christus spes mea praecedet suos in Galilaeam


4a|        Credendum est magis soli Mariae veraci

quam Judaeorum turbae fallaci

4b|        Scimus Christum surrexisse a mortuis vere

tu nobis victor rex miserere.[1]


The extreme popularity of the Victima-sequence was a result of its place in Easter liturgy,  and its soon getting vernacular progeny. The latter is very well known for everybody acquainted with the origins of European poetry in the vernacular:  in German, Czech, Hungarian, Polish – to name the closest ones. We all know those carols translating and re-troping the phrase of the Latin trope „surrexit Christus”. The number and importance of this progeny could possibly have obliterated other paths of our Easter trope, not marginal at all, as I’m showing below. What we do see after having heard in the first stanza the topic of the feast of the paschal sacrifice (immolent Christiani), is the recalling (in the second stanza) of the episode preceding the Paschal offering, alluding to the earlier events which actually started the Passion: the Temptations in the Desert (after Christ’s baptism),










and to the Agony in the garden of Gethsemane, started with Christ addressing his disciples, but also his death: „My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me.” (Tunc ait illis: Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem: sustinete hic, et vigilate mecum. Matthew 26:38).










The stanza is generalizing the roles of the protagonist and antagonist in their contest for the power over the world and its creatures.
Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando,
Dux vitae mortuus, regnat vivus

The question of man’s salvation is being conceptualized as a matter of life and death in general, and accordingly as a duel of the two characters, two personifications who clashed with each other in a combat. The poet doesn’t allow the individual aspect of life’s personification to be obliterated and is giving verbal expression to this “person’s” real existence by speaking metaphorically about his life in personal categories, as “the duke of life” (dux vitae).

And turning our attention back to the subject of the feast – the death sacrifice of that duke – the poet doesn’t forget the balance of that duel, worded in an artistic paradox, saying that the killed duke is alive and reigning.

The impersonation of the introduced characters is not complete: their semantic status is that of oscillating between the sphere of metaphor for real persons (Christ=duke of life, Satan = death), and the sphere of personification, standing for general abstract concepts like life or death.

So is also the duel only a metaphor of a combat.

A matter so important that it cannot be reduced in status to mere rhetorical figure, the duel had to be characterized as uncommon, miraculous: duellum mirandum. This semantic ambivalence or oscillating if not coupling is a common feature of complex allegories and even of single personifications.[2] They take a part of their expressive force from the semantic oscillator ‘concrete-abstract’. It happens even in case of independent or self-providing personifications, as Death we know from the danse macabre, who left the status of a skeleton playing in mortuaries, and was promoted to the function of God’s servant, but couldn’t remove from its transcendent emploi the obligation to remain always somebody’s death, the act of dying of each separate human being.

This quality reflects the distributive character of the life phenomenon that is possible only in separate individuals. In the same way death cannot be different than distributive in its working. It may be so obvious but the thrill we experience from looking at artistically performed death dances, all their ambivalent charm, comes from stating those distributive necessities: death doesn’t kill life in general, but only individual beings and this is what we should be watching with horror: that everybody has to take into account a sudden kidnapping and including into her procession.

In the Paschal sequence death is “the dying of all people, of all human race and of all life (omnia viventia), and even she is the personal perpetrator of this dying.[3]

Nam ego sum mors, que claudo omnia vivencia et finem eis impono
Deo volente et permittente et non est, qui se abscondat a meo dominio.

We hear that in her self-presentation in the Latin dialogue Colloquium de morte which was the source of the Slavic versions of the conversation of Polycarp, also of the Polish Dialogus magistri Polycarpi cum morte.[4] In both the bold and curious teacher, has to listen to her boasting about her power over all life, but to see her well-known scythe, and the lesser known attribute, sort of „Pandora’s box” containing all diseases and causing the extermination of all creature.[5]

The necessarily distributive character of death is responsible for the construction of death figure in the Victima-sequence as a personal enemy of God and his creation. She has to be sort of knight challenging another knight – Life. For the duel to be one between equals (otherwise it would be not credible as a serious combat) the second knight figure had to be someone more than an individual although special human person, but it had to mean also the life of each human.


(First part of my paper delivered to the 14th congress of the SITM, Poznań July 2013

See the pdf-file here)



[1] Standard text in the Database Cantus: ID 508002 The phrase „mors et vita” has there two entries: one in the sequence Victimae Paschali laudes (ca. 20 records), and another in the antiphon for  the feast of the Inventio Crucis: Mors et vita apposita sunt tibi si non ostendas mihi crucem Christi, Cantus  Sung with English text at

[2] See the “simultaneous realities” in allegory, C. Erickson, The Medieval Vision, Oxford 1976, p. 8, and N. Crohn Schmitt 1982: 312, applying the notion to the interpretation of the allegorical drama The Castle of Perseverance; N. Crohn Schmitt, The Idea of a Person in Medieval Morality Plays, in: C. Davidson C. et al. (ed.), The Drama of the Middle Ages. Comparative and Critical Essays, AMS Press, New York 1982. 1982: 304–315.Cf. also oscillation of meanings in the characters in the Erfurt morality play (H. Linke, Figurendarstellung in der Erfurter Moralität. Geistliche Dramatik als Lebensorientierung, „Zeitschrift für deutsches Altertum” 1995, 124.2, p. 129–42.1995), and the „plurality of truths” in Piers Plowman, G. Rudd, Managing Language in „Piers Plowman”, Piers Plowman Studies IX, D. S. Brewer, Cambridge 1994.

[3] Nam ego sum mors, que claudo omnia vivencia et finem eis impono Deo volente et permittente et non est, qui se abscondat a meo dominio.

[4] Editor’s title: Czesława Pirożyńska, Łacińska Rozmowa mistrza Polikarpa ze Śmiercią. Dialogus magistri Polycarpi cum morte [in:] Średniowiecze. Studia o kulturze, t. 3, Wrocław 1966, pp.74-187.

[5] …omnes morbos creaturarum in vase ferreo portans in sinistro brachio et tota existens pallida et in manibus tenens falcastrum horribile, coram se habens celum apertum et retro se infernum

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Monument of the Book

In Lesko, a small town in the south-east of Poland you can see a monument of the book, established in 2008.

It was invented by the artist Andrzej Pityński, living since 1974 in the USA,



The open book held by a hand shows two quotes. One by the Polish poet C.K. Norwid, reading:

Not the sword or shield are defending the language but masterpieces. 


The second quote is from the German writer T. Mann, reading

Today’s books are the deeds of tomorrow.







(C) Photos made in 2011

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Being reflected

World Water Day 22.03.2014


It was more than it is

life bringing seed and an empty cog


It is more than it shows

one waterdrop in a leaky cockleshell


It shows more than it bears

two skies, one sun, a house roof with chimney, many trees




It bears more than it gives

nothing to touch to take away, only in mirror



It gives more than it takes

a spoon stardust for a second world


???????? SONY DSC ????????

It takes so much more

when disappearing

than it was

in the beginning




© A. Dąbrówka, photos 31-March 2013, text 22 March 2014

WordPress weekly photo challenge Reflections

Many posts on this blog show water drops and photo-like reflections, starting with the previous Inflection

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074castle-inside 076icicle-photo-house-dkw 076castle-inside 074castle-inside-dwp 071lodoplastyka-foto-dwp 072lodoplastyka-foto-d1wp 076icicle-photo-house-dwp 074castle-inside-2dwp 075foto-dom-dwp




inside of things are pictures of the things
remaining outside visible off frame
or otherwise looking quite different
from their image they reflect or are

a common house resembles a high castle
built on an iceberg or a lustered rock
with doors too narrow to be entered
by anyone from Euclidean world

lean trees elongate bowing to each other
and bending to squeeze in above the house
the tiny sky denies them enough space
as if they had to grow in a glass bottle

© A. Dąbrówka (photos 8.02.2013, text 16 March 2014)

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Appeal Concerning the Latest Events in Ukraine and in Kharkiv

2014-03-04 11:56 GMT


Dear friends,

I am sending you the text of the appeal to the world community of intellectuals

by the Kharkiv Historico-Philological Society. 

Please circulate it among your contacts.

Serhii Vakulenko

Шановні друзі,

надсилаю Вам текст відозви Харківського історико-філологічного товариства
до світової інтелектуальної спільноти англійською мовою для поширення серед
Ваших контактів.

Сергій Вакуленко


To all scholars of the world, learned societies,
university staff, men of letters and arts

The Kharkiv Historico-Philological Society, founded in 1886 by the leading
professors of the University of Kharkiv, addresses the following message to
the scholarly community of the world.

On the 1st of March 2014, a violent clash was staged in Kharkiv between the
supporters of Ukraine’s European integration and the so-called ralliers
„for stability and restoration of order”. The supporters of the Maidan for
Europe, numbering a little over 100, most of them university freshmen, were
peacefully located in the premises of the Provincial Administration to
which they had been invited on the 23rd of February by the Deputy Governor
Vasyl Khoma. They were demanding the appointment of a new Governor instead
of the deeply compromised Mykhailo Dobkin, a long-time henchman of the
ousted President Yanukovych.

That same Dobkin, together with his accomplice Hennadii Kernes, the Mayor
of Kharkiv (a former criminal convict, backed by Yanukovych’s Party of
Ukraine’s Regions) orchestrated a pro-Russian rally to which about two
thousand participants from the nearby Russian city of Belgorod were brought
across the border. To avoid any clashes, the Co-ordinative Council of the
Maidan for Europe cancelled its own rally, previously summoned at the same
time and place. After the end of the pro-Russian rally a large group of
well-trained fighters, armed with bats, compliance weapons and tear-gas
attacked the building of the Provincial Administration and severely beat
its defenders, throwing them afterwards in the midst of the enraged
pro-Russian (and largely imported from Russia) crowd striking and kicking
them. The police, corrupted by the Mayor Kernes, did not intervene.

Among the injured defenders of the Provincial Administration were Serhii
Zhadan, a writer of international renown, and one of the members of our
Society Valerii Romanovskyi, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Ukrainian
Academy of Culture in Kharkiv.

Russian official propaganda and media try to portray the supporters of
democracy and freedom in Ukraine as nationalist nazi-like radicals and
extremists that menace the existence of the Russian-speaking community.
This Goebbelsian rhetoric has nothing to do with the Ukrainian reality. The
nazi tendencies can rather be observed on the other side. Suffice it to say
that the person who put the Russian flag on the top of the building of
Provincial Administration of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, Mika Ronkainen,
is a Russian citizen and a Moscow dweller, exhibiting his overt admiration
for Adolf Hitler on the web.

There is sufficient evidence to affirm that this was a part of the
aggression against Ukraine which is now carried out on the order of the
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In this connection, we confidently declare that the pretext of defending
the rights of Russian-speaking population in Ukraine, used by the Russian
propaganda, is a pure invention. The Russian language has always been
freely used in the Ukrainian media, schools and universities, and everyday
life. Ukraine has one of the best legislations in the world ensuring the
rights of ethnic minorities, including state-run schools using not only
Russian, but also Crimean Tatar, Hungarian, Polish, Rumanian as languages
of education. In many areas, including Kharkiv, it is the Ukrainian
language that indeed needs protection and support.

The attempts to play the ethnic and linguistic card in order to destabilize
the situation in Ukraine come from abroad. During the 22 years of
independence, Ukraine has learnt to handle its ethnic and linguistic
problems in a responsible way. Unlike many other post-Soviet states, it has
never had conflicts on ethnic grounds. In case of need, we solve all our
problems by means of open discussion resulting in a viable compromise. No
intervention from outside is necessary.

We launch an appeal to the world scholarly community to help promulgate
truthful information concerning the real state of affairs in Ukraine. Those
of you who can address the general public through all kinds of media,
please do it as soon as possible. The disinformation campaign engineered by
the Kremlin must be thwarted. We want the world to know the truth. The
savage rampage, inspired from Russia, that took place in Kharkiv last
Saturday is part of it.

On behalf of the whole Society

Ihor Mykhailyn, PhD, DLitt.
Михайлин Ігор Леонідович – доктор філологічних наук, професор, завідувач кафедри журналістики Харківського національного університету імені В. Н. Каразіна. Член Національної Спілки письменників України

Permanent Secretary

Assistant Professor Serhii Vakulenko, PhD
Вакуленко Сергій – науковий секретар Харківського історико-філологічного товариства.

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