Grażyna (poem)

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Grażyna marble statue based on poem by Adam Mickiewicz, Planty Park, Kraków
Author Adam Mickiewicz
Original title Grażyna. Powieść litewska
Language Polish
Genre Narrative epic poetry

Grażyna is an 1823 narrative poem by Adam Mickiewicz, written in the summer of 1822 during a year-long sabbatical in Vilnius, while away from his teaching duties in Kowno (present day Kaunas).[1] Probably his first notable work.

The poem describes the exploits of a mythical Lithuanian chieftainess Grażyna against the forces of the medieval Order of the Teutonic Knights. The woman character is believed to have been based on Mickiewicz's own sweetheart from Kowno, Karolina Kowalska. The name was originally conceived by Mickiewicz himself, having used the root of the Lithuanian adjective gražus, meaning "beautiful".[2]

It was said by Polish writer Christien Ostrowski to have inspired Emilia Plater, a military heroine of the November 1830 Uprising.


  1. ^ Roman Robert Koropeckyj, Adam Mickiewicz: the life of a romantic. Cornell University Press, 2008. Page 35. ISBN 0-8014-4471-3.
  2. ^ April 1, a name-day for Grażyna, #53 in Poland among the most popular names (Polish)

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