Marcel Weyland

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Marcel Weyland was born 13.06.1927 in Lodz, Poland. He escaped wartime Poland in 1940 and through Lithuania and Japan reached Shanghai in 1941. He was interned there till end of war and completed his school studies (in English) while in the camp. He arrived in Australia in 1946. In about 1957, at first as a hobby which grew into a compulsion, he began translating Adam Mickiewicz’s epic ‘Pan Tadeusz’ into English verse, maintaining its poetic structure. Completion of the translation was delayed, first, by architecture studies, then by law studies completed in 1991.

‘Pan Tadeusz’ was completed in 2004 and published by Verand Press, Blackheath. In 2005 it was also published by Begell House Inc., New York. ‘Echoes: Poems of the Holocaust’, a bi-lingual collection of poems translated from Polish, was published in 2007 by Verand Press, Blackheath,. In August 2010 the anthology ‘The Word: 200 Years of Polish Poetry’ was completed and published by Brandl & Schlesinger, Blackheath. A week after publication it was featured by Ramona Koval in an interview with Weyland on the ABC program ‘The Book Show’. The recent issue of “Southerly” , the theme of which was ‘translation’, included a long article by Weyland on the subject of Polish poetry between the world wars, illustrated by examples drawn mostly from ‘The Word’, prior to its publication. Przekładając nieprzekładalne III (Translating the Untranslatable III), the annual publication of the Gdansk University Press, Olga & Wojciech Kubinski eds. 2007, included Weyland’s contribution Translating Pan Tadeusz.

Between 2004 and 2010 most of the poems in ‘The Word’ have been read on SBS, in the original and in their English translation, on a weekly Polish language program titled ‘An Alphabet of Polish Poetry’. The presenter and Weyland also discussed each poet between the readings. It was given the title of ‘alphabet’ because it began with poets whose names began with an ‘A’ and have recently reached those beginning with a “W”.

In 2005 and 2009 Weyland was guest of the Book Institute in Krakow at its 1st and 2nd Translators’ Congresses. In 2005 the Polish Government honoured Weyland with the Order of Merit for the promotion of Polish culture. In 2006 after an Australia-wide vote he was presented with the ‘Polish Community Eagle of Sydney Award’ In 2008 he was awarded the medal of the Order of Australia ‘for service to the Polish community in Australia and internationally through the preservation and promotion of Polish national heritage, particularly literature’. Awaiting publication by Brandl & Schlesinger is my translation from Polish of the Yoram Gross autobiography My Animated Life.

Also awaiting publication are 'What I Read to the Dead', the translation of 30 poems of Wladyslaw Szlengel (‘Poet of the Ghetto’) who was killed in the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and 'The Adventures of Scrat Wiggletoe', Andrzej Grabowski's children's book.

Weyland is at present working at translating a collection of Polish poems for children.