Sunday, August 14, 2011
From the UK Guardian, a recollection by Zbigniew Pelczynski
see link here
Bolesław was born in Torun, Poland. Liberated from a German prisoner of war camp, he settled in Britain, where he took a degree in English literature and theatre studies at Bristol University. Between 1959 and 1989 he worked as an editor and presenter at the BBC World Service. With great enthusiasm, dedication and perception, he covered cultural events such as the Edinburgh festival and reviewed plays.
Bolesław lectured and wrote in English and Polish. He translated Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory and the poems of Robert Graves and Robert Lowell into Polish. He also translated Polish studies of Shakespeare and Vladimir Maya- kovsky into English. One of his most notable achievements was translating and editing the collected plays of Karol Wojtyła, the future Pope John Paul II. He later corresponded with the pope, discussed his plays with him in Rome and was moved that he read and commented on some of Bolesław's poems.
Bolesław published 18 volumes of poetry and six collections of his work, winning prizes in England, America and Poland. His style changed over the years, but certain themes recurred, such as classical music, literature and drama. The dominant tone of his poems is sombre, reflective and philosophical. Poetry for him was a way to make sense of human nature, of 20th-century history and of social and political reality.
He was immensely glad to see his Polish homeland, having endured decades of communist dictatorship, achieve freedom and democracy. In his last years he spent roughly half of his time in Poland, but he remained happily anchored in his adopted homeland.
See a fragment of being, about the life of Taborksi at You Tube, here