|dc.description.abstract||In Herbert’s poetry the words which are the names of musical instruments function both on
the level of literary text stylistic composition - they are constituent elements of the metaphors
and comparisons - and as signs of concrete or symbolic objects, which constitute one of the
categories of motifs visible in the poems.
The essay is an attempt to define the function performed by the motifs of the lyre and
the lute, the first two instruments to appear in Zbigniew Herbert’s poetry. The group of
poems in which the motifs of the lyre, the lute and the string - a frequent synexdoche of
the two instruments - appear includes twelve poems: Do Apollina [To Apollo], O Troi [On
Troy], Do Marka Aurelego [To Marcus Aurelius], Struna [The String], Las Ardeňski [The Forest
of Arden], Arijon [Arion, from the volume Struna Światła [The String of Light]), Niepoprawnoić
[Incorrectness], Do Pięści [To the Fist], Prośba (A Request, from the volume Hermes, pies
i gwiazda [Hermes, a Dog and a Star]), Apollo i Marsjasz [Apollo and Marsyas], Szuflada (The
Drawer, from the volume Studium przedmiotu [A Study of an Object]), Wit Stwosz: Uśnięcie
Najświętszej Marii Panny (Veit Stoss: Repose o f the Virgin, from the volume Elegia na odejście
[An Elegy on Passing Away]).
In the symbolism of the poems by Zbigniew Herbert the motif of the lyre has ambivalent
value. It symbolizes a type of art which does not suit twentieth century experiences or kind
of poetry ruthlessly indifferent to evil and thus deserving ethical criticism on the one hand
and represents art., which can provide man with a sense of the order of existence, on the
other. It is because of the second function that is must be saved.
In Herbert’s poems the lyre symbolizes classical poetry - its stylistic tone and function;
it is also a symbol of music and harmony - presented as a desired state existing in the world.
The string - if it is not a synexdoche of the lyre or the lute - becomes a symbol of new
poetry, which results from twentieth century catastrophes, but does not totally reject classical
tradition (though compared to it, it is only partial and incomplete).
The way the two motifs function in Herbert’s poetry illustrates one of the author’s
fundamental dilemmas. The question is: How can a poet who has rejected traditional
classicism remain a twentieth century classical poet?||pl_PL