Monumenta Polonica: the first four centuries of Polish poetry : a bilingual anthology - Bogdana Carpenter

For anyone interested in Polish poetry, Bogdana Carpenter's Monumenta Polonica is the perfect introductory volume. This bilingual anthology spans four centuries of Polish literature, from the 14th century to the 18th century, introducing readers to poetry from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Baroque, and the Enlightenment. For the reader who is unfamiliar with the culture and history of Poland, Carpenter opens each epoch with a brief history, giving some historical context to the poems. She has also provided a brief biographical sketch of each of the known authors as well as some analysis of their styles. All of the poems presented in this volume were originally written in Polish, Carpenter chose not included any poetry written in Latin, which may have eliminated some important works. However, despite the omission of Latin works, Carpenter's anthology is still a rich collection that illustrate the wide spectrum of poetry produced during the first centuries of literature in Poland. Of particular note are the Laments of Jan Kochanowski for his beloved daughter Orszula, which were especially touching given the depth of the authors obvious grief. His poems and others within this text are ones that I will return to again and again.