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Herr Cogito – die letzten Tage. Der Spätstil in Zbigniew Herberts Epilog burzy

Paweł Marcinkiewicz, Daniel Pietrek

Pages 101 - 136


Each individual artist’s lateness is a kind of trope as defined by Harold Bloom: it is a deliberate error in the composition of the work. In Epilogue of the Storm, Herbert gives his poetry the chance of a new existence, forcing critics to unconventional interpretations. The late works of Zbigniew Herbert – the last three volumes of poems: Elegy for the Departure (1990), Rovigo (1992), and especially Epilogue of the Storm (1998), published a few months before his death – present the essence of late style in Polish literature of the second half of the 20th century. The tragic figure of the poet is an archetypal figure of a late artist: sick, at odds with the world, lonely, and suffering. In Epilogue of the Storm, you can see the poet’s courageous struggle to reevaluate his work and draw the reader’s attention to those motifs that were ignored by his popular, national, and patriotic reception.


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