‘Exiled Arcadians’ – Presence of Myth in the Poetry of Antonio Colinas and Zbigniew Herbert
The poetic diction of Antonio Colinas and Zbigniew Herbert is substantially built on mythological references, in particular allusions to the Arcadian myth. Although Arcadian allusions are rarely articulated in a straightforward way, their concealed presence may be detected at various levels of poetic expression. They are mostly of polemic nature as regards the tradition. This common feature of poetic imagination is an inspiration for a comparative study of both contemporary poets. A special reflection of ‘Arcadian’ quests are poetic references to fine arts – sculpture and painting. The characters created by Colinas and Herbert want to believe that, in the extraordinary sphere of art works, all that passed away continues to exist in what still remains. Ruins and surviving fragments of sculptures and paintings refer to the entirety they used to be a part of, thus becoming a sign of the connection with the lost land of happiness. The time of art, particularly the one symbolized by paintings, is embodied in the time of the Eternal Present that protects against evanescence, destruction and loss of what is important. Interpretation of selected poems by Colinas and Herbert creates an opportunity to thoroughly examine contemporary versions of the eternal myth presented by the poets who, though living at a geographical distance from each other, feel deeply related to the same Mediterranean culture. It also demonstrates diverse poetic suggestions regarding their own recognized position on ‘the exiled Arcadian’.
An important feature of the poetic diction of Antonio Colinas and Zbigniew...
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