Kochanowski, Jan

Kochanowski, Jan yän kôkhänôf´skē [key], 1530–84, esteemed as the greatest poet of the Polish Renaissance. Kochanowski assimilated the poetic traditions of Italy and France and created new rhythmic patterns, expressive phrases, and syntactic structures that were integrated into the Polish literary language. His philosophical, erotic, and patriotic lyrics lifted Polish literature out of its provincialism and brought it into the mainstream of the European Renaissance. His works include Trifles (1584), short poems on many subjects; Laments (1580), elegies upon the death of his daughter; an epic, The Standard; and a tragedy, The Dismissal of the Greek Envoys (1578). Of special note is his Polish version of the Psalms. Much of his work is available in English translation.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Russian and Eastern European Literature: Biographies