This article discusses the evolution of Adam Mickiewicz's lyrical-text subject through the prism of the motif of navigation in the poet's oeuvre. Pieces of verse written in various phases of his artistic activity have been analysed: from classicist juvenile poems (Juz sie z pogodnych niebios ...), programmatically Romanticist poems (two poems titled Zeglarz (The Sailor), pieces written down in period 'memory albums', the 'maritime' cycle of 'Sonety krymskie' (The Crimean Sonnets), 'Do samotnosci', through to late verse, religious and thoughtful as it was ('Rozum i wiara', 'Widzenie', and, especially, the 'Lausanne Lyrics' cycle). In the earliest poems, the image of moving across the water expresses shared strivings of a collective subject; in the romanticist pieces, it turns out to be a lone action taken by a 'strong self' being aware of its unique quality and not understood by the others. In the later poems, where a personal aspect tends to disappear, sailing turns into the former 'self' flowing across or even disappearing. In Mickiewicz's lyrics, the transformation of the sailing motif occurs as the poet's gradually freeing himself from the metaphor in question and from identifying the subjectivity of his poems with the figure of a sailor.
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