The page of Sęp-Szarzyński, Mikołaj, English biography
BiographyMikołaj Sęp Szarzyński (c.1550 - c.1581) was an influential Polish poet of the late Renaissance who wrote in both Polish and Latin. He was a pioneer of the Baroque and the greatest representative of the metaphysical movement of the era in Poland. His love poems are often classed as mannerist. Jan Błoński called Sęp Szarzyński a mystical poet full of abstraction and Wiktor Weintraub called him the most outstanding poet of the times of Jan Kochanowski. The poet's status in the history of Polish literature is controversial. The philosophy of life from his verses is similar to XX century existentialism.
Little is known about Sęp Szarzyński's personal life. He was born in Zimna Woda near Lwów, the eldest of three sons, and educated at the universities of Wittenberg and Leipzig. His stay in Germany brought him close to Protestantism but he later became an ardent Catholic and his religious devotion is reflected in his poems. He probably died in Wolica in 1581 in the age of 31. He amass all his writings in handwritings. After his death, Sęp Szarzyński's verse was collected by his brother Jakub and published under the title Rytmy albo wiersze polskie in 1601.