Wieslaw Musialowski

1948 / Niemodlin / Poland
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Biography of Wieslaw Musialowski

Wieslaw Musialowski was born on June 20,1948 in Niemodlin. For the first six years of his life he was raised mainly by his grandmother, Emilia Musialow­ska, née Szczepanska. Three poems have been dedi­cated to her and to the poet’s recollections of those years: FOR EMILY SZ., EPITAPH and EMILLIA SZ—’S EMBRO­IDERY. Emilia Musialowska came from Kamieniec Po­dol­ski. She always used the “wy” form (plural “you” in Polish) when addressing others, which was an ex­pression of respect. This mode of speaking (no longer current in the Polish language, as it has been replaced by third person forms like the German “Sie” or Span­ish “usted”) finds its reflection in the poet’s works, but is lost in translation. The poet avails himself of this form in his theatre of fancy, where he engages in con­versations with his mother. Such conversations allow for broad interpreta­tion, and invite the reader to join those deliberations, often profound in their philoso­phy. The poet’s mother, Krystyna Musialowska, was born on March 3,1927 in Warsaw. Her brother was murdered in Auschwitz. “Mother was a wonderful woman, who had to work a lot as there were three of us at home, and fa­ther’s pay was not high. As part of his wages, he had been awarded around 2ha of land, where we grew the various things that we needed to survive. There was a vegetable garden by the house. We raised some do­mestic animals: cows, sheep and poultry. We had several dogs as well, some of them hunting dogs, as father used to hunt.” Józef Musialowski, the poet’s grandfather and Emi­lia’s husband, was born in Zdunska Wola. He was a self-taught musician who predomi­nantly played at wed­dings. They had four children. Their youngest son, Józef Musialowski, who worked in Belgium, feeling nostal­gia for his fatherland and convinced by his mother, returned to Poland where he got arrested by the secu­rity service shortly after his homecoming. He was interrogated, tormented in a sophisticated manner and finally sent to a hospital for psychiatric treatment. After a few years, he died from compulsory hospitali­zation and the various pharmaceuticals that had been administered to him, despite the fact that he was healthy. EMILLIA SZ—’S EMBROIDERY is a poem of uni­ver­sal significance that depicts those gloomy events. The poet’s father, Czeslaw Musialowski (born May 26,1919) , graduated from a school for non-commissio­ned officers before the Second World War began. After the 1939 Defensive War (which is known as the Septem­ber Campaign in Poland) he was sent to a hard com­pul­so­ry work in East Germany and subsequently to a concentration camp. The poet’s parents first met in Ger­ma­ny after the liberation of the concentration camp in Sachsenhausen. After the war the poet’s father graduated from The Technical School of Forestry in Brynk and started working as forester. The poet remembers his childhood as a time that was full of cheer and filled with joy: “We had a fan­tastic childhood as for those times: a little town, then several villages, in a word - an unlimited space, which was the perfect food for the insatiable fantasy of a child. Emilia lived in a small tenement in Niemodlin, my parents lived in a forester’s lodge nearby, but I preferred Emilia’s place, because she would make my every dream come true. Wonderful years.”