Dawn R. Sova
Polish émigré literature is rooted in the experiences of the fiercely independent and nationalistic Polish people who, in various periods of history, have experienced both a flourishing of culture and the complete obliteration of their nation. The literature of Poland has evolved throughout centuries of unrest and severe threats to national identity to become a literature of exiles, even among those writers who have physically remained in their homeland. Latin, the first literary language of Poland, was itself an alien language adopted when Christianity became the dominant religion in tenth-century Poland. As did other European nations of the eleventh century, Poland pushed aside its pre-Christian oral culture, which included lyric poetry in the form of folk ballads and epic poetry containing fables, animal epics, apologues, religious legends, and historical tales, and replaced it with chronicles of the lives of saints, as well as annals and a range of allegorical and historical chronicles, prose sermons, and biblical translations written in Latin.
Although a strong Polish-language literature developed and flourished by the mid-fifteenth century, history decreed that Poles would have to struggle long and hard to maintain the right to their own language, literature, and land. Throughout centuries, a strong national spirit sustained the people and the litlerature. However the subject and form of this literature might have changed to conform to government dictates, the character of Polish literature remained constant, revealing, even to the present, "the Poles' passionate sense of nationality,