Doubling poetry – a book about the linguistic poetry of Marian Pankowski


‘One day, Marian Pankowski, a very polyvalent author, during a meeting in Brussels, when he was talking about his poems, he made me feel like getting to know them better’. This is how the book “DOUBLING POETRY. Marian Pankowski – Polish poet of the French language ”(DÉDOUBLEMENT POÉTIQUE. Marian Pankowski – poète polonais de langue française), written by prof. Dorota Walczak-Delanois, began. The Polish Science Contact Agency would like to recommend a publication devoted to this recognized professor of the Free University of Brussels (ULB), translator and author of the first post-war anthology of Polish poetry translated into French. The book was published at the end of 2020 in a bilingual Polish – French format in the Polish-Belgian series ‘Polonica in Belgium – Belgica in Poland. People – sources – texts’ (Polonica en Belgique – Belgica en Pologne. Figures – sources – textes). It is worth adding that it is part of the scientific cooperation between the University of Warsaw (Institute of Applied Polish Studies, Faculty of Polish Philology) and the Department of Polish Studies at ULB. Enjoy the reading!


The first and most important intention of this book is an attempt to summarise and describe Marian Pankowski’s early poetry and translation activities, in close connection with the bilingual poetics, which is characterized by the artistic inquiries of the Polish-Belgian writer, whose 100th birthday was celebrated in 2019.

The first part of the book is a BIOGRAPHY NOT ONLY POETRY, which includes: the author’s biography and general characteristics of the literary work. In the second part of AUTHOR’S MEETINGS – TRANSLATOR’S MEETINGS we can see Marian Pankowski evolving in the university, literary and critical environment of Belgium; we can understand his work as a poet, translator of poetry and passeur – a “carrier” for other poets. The next chapter presents the author’s poetic affinities and the functioning of his imaginary. The volumes of poetry in Polish, which he wrote before the publication of his French-language poems, are also present in the next part, LIFE BY POEMS – POETICAL MATRICES OF MARIAN PANKOWSKI. The PARALLEL WORLDS part: THE COLOR OF THE YOUNG LARCH AND THE GRIP OF THE PRESENCE focuses on two French-language volumes, contextualizes them and explains the importance of the French language in Pankowski’s work. HAPPY STATES, the last chapter of the first part of the book, summarizes this part of intensive time for Marian Pankowski, which is fulfilled in the assessment of literary criticism, but also as a fully conscious author who finds happiness in writing and simple, human happiness in everyday human life.

The second part of the book contains French poems by Marian Pankowski, which Walczak-Delanois translated in full, keeping the order of the two volumes entitled Couleur de jeune mélèze and Poignée du présent. First, the text of the French poem was published, followed by its translation into Polish. Each poem is accompanied by a commentary to the poem, which presents possible and / or parallel versions of the text. This is followed by an index of authors, translators and editors and a “poetic” bibliography.

It is worth noting that the illustrations included in the book, help the reader to visualize the Pankowski’s francophone world.

A detailed table of contents and an introductory word can be found the website of the ELIPSA Publishing House.


The author of the book – professor Dorota Walczak-Delanois – is a researcher, poet, translator and author of many monographs, essays and volumes of poetry. She is a Head of the Department of Polish Studies at the Free University of Brussels (ULB).

The book was published by the ELIPSA Publishing House with the support of: Philixte Research Center at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, The Archives & Literature Museum in Brussels and the Polish Science Contact Agency PolSCA of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Published: 2021-01-28, J. Kramarczyk

Translated: 2021-01-29, J. Kramarczyk

Visuals and source: ELIPSA publishing house