Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Jan Brzechwa, real name Jan Lesman (August 15, 1900 – July 2, 1966) was a Polish poet and author, mostly known for his contribution to children's literature. He was also a famous translator of Russian literature, translating mostly works by Aleksandr Pushkin, Sergey Yesienin and Vladimir Mayakovskiy.
Brzechwa is the writers' pseudonym, it is a name for the rear part of an arrow with vanes. He changed his name in order to sound more Polish and avoid being confused with his cousin Bolesław Leśmian, also a poet.
Jan Brzechwa was born in Żmerynka in Podolia in a Polish-Jewish family. Soon he moved to Warsaw, where he graduated from Law Faculty of the Warsaw University. His debuted in 1920 in various comical magazines. In 1926 he published Oblicza zmyślone, his first book of poems. His first set of poems for children (Tańcowała igła z nitką) was published in 1937. Brzechwa was also working as a lawyer and attorney of the Polish Society of Authors and Composers ZAIKS. Since 1924 he was one of the most notable Polish specialists in copyright. Brzechwa died in Warsaw in 1966 and is buried at the Powązki cemetery.
Among his works is the Chrząszcz (a beetle, chafer), a poem famous for being one of the hardest to pronounce texts in Polish literature, even for adult, native Polish speakers. Its first line “W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie” (In [the town of] Szczebrzeszyn a beetle buzzes in the reed) is the most popular Polish tongue-twister, in which almost all of the consonants make some kind of buzzing noises.
Jan Brzechwa and Julian Tuwim are two most famous authors of children poems in Poland. Many of Brzechwa’s texts have been translated into English by Walter Whipple, however they have not been published yet (2004).
There is a 1989 animated movie Adventures of Cheating Flea based on a poem Pchła Szachrajka by Jan Brzechwa.
- 1926 – Oblicza zmyślone
- 1937 – Tańcowała igła z nitką
- 1938 – Kaczka Dziwaczka
- 1946 – Akademia Pana Kleksa
- 1946 – Ptasie plotki
- 1946 – Pan Drops i jego trupa
- 1948 – Na wyspach Bergamutach
- 1948 – Opowiedział dzięcioł sowie
- 1948 – Przygody rycerza Szaławiły
- 1951 – Uczymy się chodzić
- 1953 – Teatr Pietruszki
- 1953 – Wagary
- 1957 – Magik
- 1958 – Wyssane z palca
- 1958 – Sto bajek
- 1961 – Podróże pana Kleksa
- 1964 – Śmiechu warte
- 1965 – Od baśni do baśni
- 1965 – Tryumf pana Kleksa
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