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Earliest Independent Work of Jan Kochanowski: "Zuzanna"

Jan Kochanowski1561

Ossoliński National Institute

Ossoliński National Institute
Wrocław, Poland

"Zuzanna" (eng. Susanna) is the only surviving copy of the oldest independent work by Jan Kochanowski, the most eminent Polish Renaissance poet. "Zuzanna" is based on the motif of a biblical story about Joachim's beautiful wife. The edition was accompanied by the song "Czego chcesz od nas, Panie" [What do you want from us, Lord], considered as one of the most beautiful poems of the Polish Renaissance and described as the “sunrise of Polish poetry”. Tradition has it that Kochanowski wrote the song during his stay in France. When its manuscript arrived in Poland, another Polish poet, Mikołaj Rej, known as the “father of Polish literature”, allegedly exclaimed while reading it: ““I deem him superior to me”. That is how Jan Kochanowski’s fame is said to be born.
Text in Polish.

Details

  • Title: Earliest Independent Work of Jan Kochanowski: "Zuzanna"
  • Creator: Jan Kochanowski
  • Date Created: 1561
  • Location Created: Cracow, Poland
  • Physical Dimensions: [6] leaves, collation A6; 4°
  • Provenance: 1. Joseph Maximilian Ossoliński (1748–1826); 2. Former collection of the Ossolineum Library, shelfmark 7.423.
  • Type: Book
  • Publisher: Matthias Wirzbięta
  • External Link: https://www.dbc.wroc.pl/publication/1822
  • Medium: Paper, handpress printing

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