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Adam Mickiewicz
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Poet
    (December 24, 1798-November 26, 1855)
    Born in Zaosie, Lithuania Governorate, Russian Empire
    Adam Bernard Mickiewicz
    Known to Lithaunians by the name, Adomas Mickevičius
    Polish poet, dramatist, essayist, translator, and political activist
    Academic, translator, and pioneer in the Polish Romanticist movement
    Cultural and national icon of Poland; widely believed to be both the greatest Polish poet and the greatest Slavic poet (mainly in formerly partitioned countries such as Belarus or Lithuania)
    Works include 'Dziady' (Forefathers' Eve), 'Pan Tadeusz,' 'Konrad Wallenrod,' 'The Crimean Sonnet,' and 'Grażyna'
    Active with the Polish-Lithuanian resistence movement against the Russian Empire's partition of the territory
    Died while organizing Polish and Jewish forces, in Istanbul, to join the fight against the Russian army in the Crimean War
    Remains were repatriated from Montmorency, Val-d'Oise, in France, to Wawel Cathedral in Kraków, Poland (1890)
    Honored with Museums in Paris, Istanbul, Warsaw, and Navaruhdak
    His wife had a nervous breakdown.
    He kissed Napoleon III's ass in some of his poetry.
    He lost his professorship at the College de France, in 1844, due to his affiliation with the Lithuanian mystic and 'holy man' Andrzej Towianski, to whom he would devote a majority of his lectures, discussing the Towianski sect and his 'Circle of God.'
    His dependence on Towianski got to be so bad that he would refer to him as 'Master,' and declaring to all who would listen that the man was a Prophet destined to play a role in Poland's deliverance from Russia.
    A heated debate continues to rage on as to whether he was actually Polish, Lithuanian, or Belarusian.
    Just as many arguments have surfaced over the years claiming that he was, in fact, Jewish on his mother's side, however no conclusive evidence supports this, either.
    To this day, many historians (such as Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński) insist that he must have been poisoned en route to Istanbul, by his political enemies, with no proof to support such a claim.
    He's an instantly recognizable icon throughout Eastern Europe, but outside of that sphere, its a shot in the dark if the average person knows who the hell he is.
    The Polish postsocialist blok Hip-Hop artists and rappers idolize him, insisting that, were he alive today, 'he'd be a good rapper.'
    He was on the same level as Lord Byron, Shakespeare, and Goethe.
    He was good friends with Frederic Chopin, Alexander Pushkin, and Margaret Fuller.
    He is counted as among the 'Three Bards' of Poland's national literature, along with Juliusz Słowacki and Zygmunt Krasiński.
    His works heavily influenced reformers and patriots like Giuseppe Mazzini, Giuseppe Garibaldi, and Felicité Robert de Lamennais.
    Many of his students were secret youth organization insurgents whom he privately befriended and supported.
    He was imprisoned for six months in a Wilno monastery, and then banished to central Russia for 5 years, after his support was discovered.
    He travelled extensively during his exile, eventually taking up with the subversive Russian Decembrists.
    He positively reviewed Ralph Waldo Emerson's first series of 'Essays' during his 1843-44 College de France lectures, calling Emerson 'the American Socrates.'
    He wrote 'Pan Tadeusz' in honor of the Polish people's courage in during the failed 1830 rebellion against Russian rule.
    Jan Lechon said of him 'Polish was the instrument of his magic; he was the bach of its sacred music, the master of polyphonic melodies of ideal simplicity and wisdom.'
    He has the reputation for being a solemn 'epic poet' but some of his lesser known poems and prose exhibit biting sarcasm and wit (e.g. in one poem suggesting that Polish mothers give their kids chains instead of toys to play with to help them get used to oppression).
    He disowned Andrzej Towiański after taking issue with his passive response to the revolutionary sentiment in the late 1840s.
    In honor of the 100th anniversary of his death, the University of Poznań adopted him as its official patron (1955).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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