Poetic Texts in Polish Heritage Language Classes


  • Anna Gąsienica Byrcyn Saint Xavier University




The use of poetic texts in heritage Polish composition classes offers a resourceful, motivating, and original way of learning the language and culture, primarily by mastering writing skills and understanding Poland’s rich and complex culture. Moreover, poetic texts give an aesthetical beauty and moral values, and the students discover universal truths during their readings and discussions. A chosen poem, such as Adam Mickiewicz’s “Lelije” (Lilies), Teofil Lenartowicz’s “Złoty kubek” (A Golden Cup), or Bolesław Leśmian’s “Urszula Kochanowska” (Ursula Kochanowska), is presented in class for listening exercises, reading, recitation, discussion, and especially creative writing. The students are introduced to the captivating genre of poetry and learn about the cultural and historical content of this work. Then, they write their poem or a composition on the introduced theme. The assessment consists of the student’s originality, the content of the paper, the organization of the paper, and the employment of correct grammatical sentence structure and vocabulary.

Consequently, poetic texts immersed in Polish intertextual space are open and may be read in many ways, beyond their initial context, presenting many fascinating interpretations and offering many intellectual attractions. A poem is an excellent learning source for the creativity stage in the art of writing, transmuting elements of the past Polish culture and literature in modern language classes. Students write their own intriguing stories, focusing on their knowledge of the language, and using resourcefulness and creativity.


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