In Cyprian Norwid's poetic works, there are numerous meta-textual and meta-linguistic structures, among which the so-called poetic definitions seem to be the most interesting group. They are characterized with subjectivism, open attitude, partiality, being metaphorical, immediate response. They do not just describe the real qualities of an object but they also reveal their individual vision, which is usually the outcome of contextual interpretation. An example of such a contextual definition (yet, presenting the typical of Norwid way of thinking about man) is a phrase from the poem Sphinx (II): 'A man?... He is a priest, and yet still unconscious and immature' (II 33), the formal analysis and interpretation of which is the second part of the article.
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