Zbigniew Herbert – poetry teaching resource

Celebrating the Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert (1924–1998) is a new poetry resource for secondary school teachers.

Zbigniew Herbert (1924–1998) is one of the best known and most celebrated Polish poets of the 20th century. His life and work shed light on some of the major events of 20th century European history, including World War Two, the Cold War and the end of Communism in eastern Europe. Twenty years after his death, 2018 has been declared the Year of Herbert by the Polish Sejm (Parliament).

To mark the Year of Herbert, Zielony Balonik: the Scottish-Polish Book Group commissioned Ken Cockburn to write this resource for use in secondary schools. It introduces Herbert and his work to teachers and pupils in secondary schools in Scotland (and beyond). As well as a brief biography of the poet, one of his poems is presented in Polish and English translation, with ideas for using it in the classroom. Further ideas are given for working with other Herbert poems, together with a short booklist, and links to websites where his poems are available, along with background material.

A number of related public events and school sessions linked to Herbert’s work have also been arranged with the help of the Scottish Poetry Library, including sessions looking at Herbert’s poems in four Edinburgh secondary schools, which I’ve written about here.

Our thanks to those who have offered financial support for the resource and the events programme:
Polish Ex-Combatants Association in Great Britain Trust Fund;
Scottish Polish Cultural Association; 
Polish Consul General in Scotland.

The resource is designed by Emma Quinn Design.


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