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patriotical

Skamander

Skamander was a Polish group of experimental poets founded in 1918 by Julian Tuwim, Antoni Słonimski, Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, Kazimierz Wierzyński and Jan Lechoń. Initially unnamed, in December of 1919 it adopted the name of Scamander, after a river in Asia Minor.

The group was initially closely related to the Pro Arte et Studio literary monthly and the Pod Picadorem cafe in Warsaw. In 1920 it created its organ, the Skamander monthly, although its members also collaborated with Wiadomości Literackie (Literary News) and other newspapers.

The young poets were under heavy influence of Leopold Staff and other neo-romanticist poets. Their main aims were to break up the links between history and poetry and put an end to the nationalist and patriotical function of Polish poetry. In addition, they underlined the need to return the poetry to common people by returning to usage of everyday language in poetry, including colloquialisms, neologisms and vulgarisms. Finally, the Skamandrites (Skamandryci in Polish) underlined the beauty of everyday life and all forms of life in general, including the biological side of it.

In contrast to the basic aims of the Young Poland movement of late 19th century, the members of Skamander neglected the need for semi-mythological heroes and protagonists and they replaced them with common people in their poetry. In contrast to the contemporary Awangarda Krakowska movement, they saw themselves as the continuators of the Polish literary tradition, especially that of romanticism and neo-romanticism.

Apart from the five main members of the movement, there were also several less-known poets and critics accepting their principles. Among them were Stanisław Baliński, Gabriel Michał Karski, Światopełk Karpiński, Jerzy Paczkowski, Karol Zawodziński and Wilam Horzyca.

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