When the Poles truly rise... A genesis-like vision of a reborn Poland
Juliusz Słowacki’s poem Kiedy prawdziwie Polacy powstaną... [When the Poles truly rise...], written in the 1840s and published only after the poet’s death, reflects in many respects the messianic thought of the 1830s. This concerns, first of all, the idea of rejecting the concept of armed fight and replacing it with suffering and sacrifice. However, Słowacki’s genesis thinking demonstrates much more clearly the need to destroy all old forms, which is a prerequisite for being reborn in a new form – hence the necessity of the partitions and the fall of the First Polish Republic as well as the necessity of the failure of the November Uprising. Such a line of thought is behind the argumentation in Odpowiedź na Psalmy przyszłości [A Reply to the Psalms of the Future] and justifies the general’s decision in the poem Sowiński w okopach Woli [Sowiński in the Trenches of Wola] – for the general choosing death instead of honourable surrender is necessary and obvious. Unlike messianism, the genesis system is characterised by the fact that the transition from one form to another – destruction of the old form, i.e. death, and rebirth in a new form – takes place many times; it is a repeated process. Sacrificing oneself for others is impossible either – each spirit has to follow this path on its own, passing through increasingly high forms.