Aim High Magazine #68: Too young to die – the story of Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński


Niedawno czytaliśmy tekst Pawła Paroboczego o Sokratesie, dzisiaj zapraszamy Czytelników na krótką historię życia fenomenalnego polskiego poety, Krzysztofa Kamila Baczyńskiego. Tekst Anieli Przystał z klasy 2b znajdziemy także w  68. numerze naszego czasopisma anglojęzycznego AimHigh. Zapraszamy do lektury!


Too young to die – the story of Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński

Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński was born on the 22 January 1921 in Warsaw. His parents were a soldier and a literary critic Stanisław Baczyński and a school teacher Stefania Zieleńczyk. His mother was of Jewish ancestry. As a child, Baczyński was weak – he suffered from asthma and he had heart problems. He began education at the Stefan Batory Gymnasium in Warsaw in 1933. He was not a brilliant student but he was skilled at drawing and writing. In 1936, he wrote the first poem that we know – “Wypadek przy pracy” (“Accident at work”). After he graduated from school he wanted to start studying at Academy of Fine Art. Unfortunately, the death of his father and the outbreak of World War II prevented the poet from making his dream come true. Until the German occupation he had lived with his mother at Hołówki Street 3, whic was dangerous, having the Jeish roots, Baczynskli was always in dander of being shot by the Germans at any time.

In 1941 he worked with the underground press, such as „Płomienie” (“Flames”) and „Droga” (“Way”) magazines. At the same time he started studying Polish language at the secret underground Warsaw University. During lectures he met Barbara Drapczyńska and he fell in love with her. Three days later they were engaged. In July they got married – it was six months after their first meeting. They were very happy together, but for a short time.

After the Warsaw Uprising broke out, Baczyński joined the „Parasol” battalion. He was killed in combat by a German sniper on the 4 August 1944 in the Blanka Palace in the Warsaw Old Town. He is buried in the Powązki Military Cemetery, together with his pregnant wife, who was killed on 1 September 1944.

Baczynski published four volumes of poetry during the German occupation: “Zamknięty echem” -„Closed with Echoes” (1940), „Dwie miłości”-“Two Loves” (1940), “Wiersze wybrane”-„Selected Poems” (1942) and “Arkusz poetycki Nr 1” „Poetic Sheet No. 1” (1944.

His poetry expresses the emotions of the so-called Columbus Generation. The generation described in such a way includes young Poles who were born soon after Poland regained its independence in 1918, and who entered maturity during World War II. Baczyński wrote catastrophic poems – he wanted to describe the time of war, which in his poems is shown as a huge force, destroying the old systems of values.

He was only twenty three years old when he was killed. But during his short life, he was recognized as one of the best poets of his times.

Aniela Przystał (2b)