1935 – 1967
Who was Halina Poświatowska?
She is famous for her lyrical poetry and for her intellectual and passionate yet unsentimental poetry on the themes of death, love, existence, famous historical personages, especially women, as well as her mordant treatment of life, living, being, bees, cats and the sensual qualities of loving, grieving and desiring.
She died at 32 after a second heart operation to correct a heart defect that limited her mobility and breathing, which she acquired when she fell ill as a child during the World War II German occupation of Poland.
Her first heart operation was performed in Philadelphia, US, in 1958, and was successful enough to enable her to live for several more years. Soon afterward she enrolled at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, USA, where she completed her undergraduate studies in 3 years. Turning down offers of graduate study and financial support in the USA, she returned to Poland where she completed a Master's degree in Philosophy at the Jagellonian University in Kraków.
Her works have been collected in the four-volume Dzieła, published by Wydawnictwo Literackie, Kraków, Poland, 1997, of which the first two volumes are poems, and the latter two prose and letters, respectively.
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