Polish literature

photo: Krzysztof Dubiel

Tadeusz Dąbrowski

Dąbrowski was born in 1979. He is a poet and literary critic, and editor of the bi-monthly literary magazine Topos. He lives in Gdańsk.

Dąbrowski is among the ranks of young Catholic intellectuals. This is most apparent in his critical writing, where he tries to look at poems and fiction from a moral perspective. In the case of his own poetry, matters are not quite so unambiguous. It would be hard to place Dąbrowski squarely among the Catholic poets, because the fundamental feature of his verse is self-analysis, at times very intimate with sexual plotlines. However, this does not mean that Dąbrowski’s poetry is the typical verse of frank confessions. On the contrary, his critics mention his heightened vigilance with regard to language and the way he freely shapes it, using all sorts of stylistic tropes. There is also a lot of humour in his poetry. In highlighting this quality, Karol Maliszewski has called Dąbrowski “the Coryphaeus of the light style”. Indeed, lightness is the element that makes Dąbrowski’s poetry mellower, because the topics he tackles page after page in his books are not at all light – they include love (often unrequited), family relations (mainly with his mother), and finally God and a critique of Polish Catholicism. Another standard feature of his poems is his dialogue with other poets, above all contemporary ones such as Tadeusz Różewicz, Czesław Miłosz and Marcin Świetlicki, but the romantics (e.g. Adam Mickiewicz) also appear in Dąbrowski’s poems, and so do the poets of the Polish baroque (e.g. Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński).


  • Wypieki, Gdańsk: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego, 1999
  • e-mail, Sopot: Biblioteka Toposu, 2000
  • mazurek, Kraków: Zielona Sowa, 2002
  • Te Deum, Kraków: Wydawnictwo a5, 2005
  • Czarny kwadrat, Kraków: Wydawnictwo a5, 2009
  • Pomiędzy, Kraków: Wydawnictwo a5, 2013



  • Černý čtverec [Czarny kwadrat], trans. Jiři Červenka, Brno: Větrne mlýny, 2015.


  • Antologiâ na novata polska poeziâ, trans. Boris Dankov, Sofiâ: Sv. K. Ohridski: Kasiopeâ, 2006.


  • Black Square, Brookline: Zephyr Press, 2011.


  • Te Deum [Te Deum], trans. Hendrik Lindepuu, Tartu: Hendrik Lindepuu Kirjastus, 2015


  • Schwarzes Quadrat auf schwarzem Grund, Wiesbaden: Luxbooks, 2010, 2011.
  • Die Bäume spielen Wald, transl. Renate Schmidgall, München: Hanser Verlag, 2014


  • Stane pripravnosti, trans. Aleksandar Šaranac, Beograd: Albatros Plus, 2010.


  • Poesía a contragolpe, sel. and trans. Gerardo Beltrán, Abel A. Murcia, Xavier Farré, Zaragoza: Prensas Univ. de Zaragoza, 2012.
  • Te Deum, trans. Miguel Mejía, Sevilla: La Isla de Siltolá, 2016