Sunday, February 28, 2010

Snowy Polish New York City :)

Hello again,
we have had lots of snow lately, in  New York City, so this entry will not be about horses but New York 'thingies.'  I cannot remember, and I have been here since president George Bush sr.,  any other February this 'snowy' as this past month. I must say I am longing for snow-free weather for I am  going to start riding horses again this coming Spring, Hallelujah!
We live by the McGorlick Park in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, that is still a very Polish New York City neighbourhood (cannot resist writing this word in a 'British fashion', it is so noble - :) ) with many Polish stores, restaurants and Polish peoples on every corner, lately mixing with lots of yuppies and real working, gallery-showing notorious artists like messer Bert .
Anyway, ad rem or returning to white snow, never mentioned before my friend and fellow 'bon vivant' Valdemar Kozik, besides being the absolute master in the ancient Polish arts of meat curing and smoking (he has a book on this subject under his belt) also takes some serious photos and I asked him to sent me his photos of our McGorlick Park sufficiently covered with snow to even look romantic, at least in my nearsighted eyes, for romance is a great part of my life, or has been or should be, quien sabe. Well, I am going to publish these photos here, hope to everyone's enjoyment.
Also, let me introduce our Irish Jack Russell aplty named Haps by my 'synek' (sonny) Jasio...a great artist in his own right and hopefully future ZOO director, I am going to leave my wife out of this for who knows where she will be in our future, the USAF Moon station perhaps - :)


by the way this structure in the above photo -  that is a monument to the fallen American  heroes of the World War I, and right behind it there is a monument to the famous submarine crew of the Civil War - the Monitor.
My sonny's dog Haps in his environment, Brooklyn ubiquitous rats beware :

Husaria in poetry continued

I am turning again to our best friend from the XVII (17th)  century, imci Waclaw Potocki, a bit ribald and always a satirical poet-nobleman.

  This time our gentle master tells a story how a Frenchman, one of many that had come to Poland during the reign of Jan (John) III Sobieski ( ) seeking protection and riches from the Queen Marysienka (Marie) Sobieska,  challenged to a sword duel one of our winged hussars (presumably a nobleman- towarzysz, and not a retainer).
Hussar took a pallasch (in the second half of the 17th century most likely it was a sabre) and the Frenchman chose a 'sztokada' (long fencing sword), and our hussar  told him to change it for a rapier or a small sword [to even the odds]]; the Frenchman responded that no Pole would influence the fashion the French fight, but  to which our hussar replied immediately to his retainer that no Frenchman would tell him what to fight with and took his primary weapon, i.e., the lance. Having aimed his lance from about a distance of a pistol shot hussar charged aiming at his breast and this sight so frightened the Frenchman that with a wooden fence nearby he ingloriously run jumping over a fence and hiding behind it.  And from behind the fence he called:' you are very long, Mr Pole.' Our hussar replied without hesitation: 'you were long to my short[sword],  but once I got longer to your short, then even a dog could not have jumped over the fence so fast...'

Several interesting aspect of our hussar martial arts can be observed here, namely, that they aimed their lances about a pistol shot from their target, that they aimed their lances' points at the foe's chest, and that still in the second half of the XVII cetnury the lance was longer and deadlier than a longest sword, as long as one knew how to use this dangerous and deadly weapon.

Original poem here, in Potocki, Ogrod Fraszek, page  410

510. Pojedynek (N)
Wyzwal Francuz husarza gdy do pojedynku,
Rozumiejac, ze sie z nim rozpraawi w pocinku
Bierze palasz, az widzac owego z sztokada,
Sle, niechaj sie  rapierem albo bije szpada,
Nie ma Polak Francuzom przypisywac mody
Odpowie, ten tez nazad idac do gospody,
Ani Francuz Polakom, rzecze do pacholka,
I co predzej kopija pochwyciwszy z kolka,
Biezy, patrzy nan Francuz i dostawa metu,
Az kiedy na strzelanie jakby z pistoletu,
Zlozy drzewo i prosto do piersi mu z grotem,
Blisko byl plot, przeskoczy  Francuz i za plotem:
Barzo dlugi, pan Polak. A ten bez ogrodki:
I tys tez dopiero mial dlugi na moj krotki;
Az  skorom ja dluzszego dostal na twoj krotki,
Nie przeskoczylby plotu chyzej  i pies drugi.

ps a little sketch in progress of second half of the XVII century winged hussar towarzysz

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Horses in the Polish Renaissance and Baroque Poetry I

I hope to start this thread on the horses in Polish pre-1795 poetry. Our ancestors loved horses and showered their wealth and affection  on their splendid animals. Turkish, Tatar, Arab, Hungarian, Moldavian and Spanish horses were praised and coveted, while our winged hussars rode some of the most beautiful and expensive stallions and geldings in the country.
Let us start with this poem  by Polish XVII (17th) century poet Jan Andrzej Morsztyn , some of his poetry in English
The title could be translated "On the Spanish Mare" and this is not a mere description of a horse, but a full of  mythological allegory poem on best qualities of Polish-born Spanish horse. Hope to translate it into English.. !ojala!


Nie mają takiej andaluskie stada,
Byłaby takiej Asturyja rada,
Nie pasie takiej napolska murawa,

Jaka się klaczą przechwala Warszawa.
Hiszpańska-ć wprawdzie chodem i nazwiskiem,

Ale się w kraju rodziła nam bliskiem
I słusznie Polska będzie tym chełpliwa,

Że jej córką jest klacz tak urodziwa.
Znaczne w niej kształtu wizerunki wszelkie:
Głowa niewielka i uszy niewielkie,
Oczy wypukłe, wesołe pojrzenie,
I kłus wspaniały, i żywe chodzenie,
Pierś - ach, pierś! - piękna i zupełna w mierze,
Zad jak ulany i gibkie pacierze,

Tusz do popręgu i kark niezbyt chudy,
Nóżka subtelna, podkasałe udy,
A kosa jasna i obfita grzywa

Blaski złotego przenosi przędziwa.
O, jak to piękna, kiedy wzniósszy głowę
I złotą grzywy puściwszy osnowę,
Buja i między zazdrosnymi stady
Swych rówienniczek zawstydza gromady!

Godna zaiste ciągnąć i wóz słońca,
I stać w królewskiej stajni nie od końca;
Godna, żeby jej sam wystrzygał uszy
I róg wybierał koronny koniuszy.
Teraz niech Neptun kształt na się przybierze
Gładkiego konia, jak gwoli Cererze;
Teraz niech Jowisz, zalotów niesyty,

Końskimi stan swój okryje kopyty,
A więcej wskóra, niż gdy boskie stopy
Bawolim rogiem okrył dla Europy.
A gdy ją będą w bieg różnie ćwiczony

Koniuszy z Litwy i drugi z Korony

Kawałkowali - o, jakie korbety,

Jakie pasady, jakie wężokręty,
Jakie odmiany ręki będą w kole,
Jakie pod rzutnym grzbietem kapryjole!

Bujaj, o cudna klaczo, bujaj sobie,

Rozmnażaj stado, które tak po tobie
Pokupne będzie, że o twe źrebięta
Z sobą się będą rozpierać książęta!
Szczęsny masztalerz, który cię fartuje,
Co cię nakrywa i co cię dekuje;
Szczęśliwe łąki. co pasą klacz gładką;
Szczęśliwszy stadnik, co cię sprawi matką,
A pewnie Pegaz stąd między planety
Przeniesie z tobą spłodzone dzianety.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Horse sketches II

Horsing around with older anatomical sketches and digital media - GIMP &  MyPaint.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Horse sketches I

 some horse sketches, a fruit of  playing with a  pencil,  ball pen on paper and then with digital brush (GIMP, MyPaint)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Rychcia i wielki skok or trotting and galloping in Old Polish I

 we have one beautiful, sunny day in the great republic of Brooklyn today, in spite of some snow and ice, while  I did some cross country skiing in the deserted streets last night.
The image show today has to do with the winged hussars - this is a drawing showing  last stage of the hussars charge - with lances firmy pointed at the incoming target, well poised to kid and trample, for the glory of their King and  their God. I am going to add more images, showing the whole charge in stages, from walk, to trot to gallop to  a full gallop.

In Polish XVI-XVII (16-17th) century horse vocabulary there are words that no longer can be understood in the modern  Polish language. They were either replaced. lost meaning or fell out of use due to more modern hippology. Two of these words are subject of my little study today - but when I wrote this short study I did it for a Polish language history forum. Therefore today I will 'publish' the Polish version and soon I will present its English translation, I hope.
the Polish version below:

jesli chodzi o zrodla polskie z okresu istnienia husarii to konskie biegi/chody  sa opisane w pracach Dorohostajskiego (Hippika, zaczyna sie na stronie 92 w wydaniu z XIX wieku na google books) Pieniazka (Hippika, bedzie o tym ponizej) oraz w dziele nieznanego autora (Gospodarstwo Jezdeckie, Strzelcze, et al) - dziela wydawane w XVII wieku, i to parokrotnie. Wszystkie prace sa dostepne na necie - w bibliotece digitalowej oraz na google books.
Chody konskie - pozwole sobie zamiescic moje male studium etymologii rychcia, rzesci etc - a swego czasu byla duza dyskusja na w tym temacie;#entry556736 na stronie 72 i dalej, ale tam znalesc cos to jak szukanie igly w stogu siana.

male studium slowa Rysc albo rzescia [sic!]

- moze odpowiedz jest co to jest znajduje sie w jezykach slowianskich, jako ze duza czesc naszej terminologii konskiej pochodzi z jezyka 'starego' ruskiego - zreszta Linde w swoim slowniku jezyka polskiego pisze RYSC-i lub RZESCIA,-i a po rosyjsku to рысца -
a na necie (google books, wikipedia etc) pisza ze рысца to мелкий бег lub Способ бега лошади (или другого животного), при котором одновременно выносятся вперед ноги передняя левая и задняя правая или передняя правая и задняя левая... czyli nic wiecej ani mniej niz jak 'klus' a dzisiejsze slowniki agielsko-rosyjskie tlumacza to jako jog-trot czyli trucht (Karlowicz uzywa tego slowa w slowniku z 1901 toku, inne slowa ale gwarowe to 'gręda') ... zreszta od tego chyba pochodza 'rysaki' czyli klusaki.
ale to nie koniec
Рысца — рысца. Лошадь бгьжитъ рысцею (рысцoю) (в. ДОЛОПЧЕВЪ.ОПЫТЪ СЛОВПРЯ НЕПРАВИЛЬНОСТЕЙ..., 1909)
ale tutaj A. Aleksandrov, Polnîi russko-angliiskii slovar z 1885 рысца, s. f. dim. gentle trot, jog trot, hand-gallop [sic! To moje podkreslenie]; see Рысь.
РЫСЬ, s. f. trot, trotting (of hontt¡: мелкая —, dog-trot; к/>;/иная —, full trot; пустить лошадь рысьи, to make the horse trot; \,:ool. lynx, lusern; ||«ir. Lynx (constellation).
A z 1818 (tom II) A new dictionary English and Russian - Trot, e. ( the jolting high pace of a
horse ) рысь , хода лошадиная.
A hard (rot , тяжелая хода.
A gentle trot , легкая хода.

Słownik polskiego i rossyjskiego języka Potockiego z 1877 podaje ze 665 'wpolklus' – to полурысь, Рысца a klus to ступь, поступь, грунь a klusowac (str 239) to бъжать рысью
Differenciálny slovensko-ruský slovník (wydanie 1900 str 80 ) К1us, р. -u, рысца.
К1usаt, -аm, бъжать рысцой.
...czescy filolodzy z XIX wieku (Grauber & Kral, Listy filologické, 1880, str 161)
Р*сть (t. j. ryst) curriculum, pol. rysc, f. gen. -à с i gradus tolntilis klus, y, jak se zdá, pusobením mrns. na misté /, takó rzescia na misté *rzyácia id. Koren рнст, rist; srodná 'na: lit. rist-as adj. celer, velox, ristas zirgelis equus cursor (Geitl. 107 a), riszczà, take risczà psáno, adv. grada tolutili, tolutim „im Trab", riszczà jóti im Trab weiten, vlastnij jest to instr. sg. stat. jména riszczà klus, na eilte risztja, ristja, risztininkas „ein Traber", equus <No tolntim incedit, risczoti galoppieren (Geitl. 107 a) na miste *ristjoti, koren rist (riszt).
...i jezyk litewski (ktory najwiecej praindoeuropejskicjh zachowal elementow) z Wörterbuch der littauischen Sprache (strona 355) rißezia, Adv. rifezia, im Trabe; rißtelejoti, dem. im kleinen Trabe reiten. (poln. rysc, rzescia, Trab)
Slowo zdaje sie wiec byc starodawne.
U Linde w 'Slowniku Jezyka Polskiego' - definicja (strona 158) jest z 1812 - raczej nie moglo sie nic zmienic w znaczeniu wyrazenia od XVIII wieku, zwlaszcza ze Warszawe okupowali przed Francuzami ostatnio Prusacy (1795- 1806) etc, i XVIIIwieczne wplywy rosyjskie na slownik hipologiczny mogly byc raczej znikome w tym kontekscie , a 'studium lingwistyczne' czeskie dowodzi niezbicie ze wyraz oznacza to samo -klus - w wszystkich jezykach slowianskich plus w litewskim etc. Zreszta sam Linde pisze ze trocht [sic!] to tez gręda.

Finalowo, a  propos 'zadzierżywać" (od zadzierżać) u Dorohostajskiego  to znalazlem niemickie tluamczenie tego jako 'erhalten' co daje chyba racjonalne tluamczenie - 'utrzymywac' lub 'przytrzymywac' - (choc samego slowa niemieckiego erhalten znaczen jest wiecej to chyba nie da sie przetlumaczyc na jezyk polski tego slowa jako 'zatrzymywac') ('Gramatyka Polska' doktora Israela Rabinowicza z 1877)
Pieniazek (np Wsiadszy tedy na nim jechać w pole i wielkim kłósem, rychcią... to jest puściwszy go na wielki kłus, Pieniążek, Hippika (1607) ) i Gospodarstwo uzywaja odmiennie ryścią/rychcia/wieki klós (Klus) , czwal, i wielki skok/skok (Pieniazkowy traktat oraz Gospodarstwo jezdeckie.. byly opracowane pod katem husarii/jazdy polskiej przez rtm Piotrowskiego w latach 1930tych)
Galop ktory przyszedl z Europy zachodniej w XVIII wieku mozna znalesc w literaturze np 'Pościć się galopem,' Niemcewicz, Powrót posła.
Jesli chodzi o konie, chody w jezyku XVIIwiecznym to poezje Waclawa Potockiego sa doskonalym zrodlem - Ogrod fraszek, Wojna Chocimska, rowniez Wespazjan Kochowski.
this version was posted at this Polish forum -

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ułani - introduction

a Halan, Uhlan, der Ulan, Ułan, Улан - an introduction

Today there was one snowy day on the East Coast of the US of A. Good day to do some painting and reading, I suppose.

     I always wonder how our ancestors could cope with  the freezing winter months, when they liked to wage war and invade their neighbors like the winter 1664 campaign against the Grand Duchy of Muscovy aka Russia.  It was during this unfriendly season that they started serious military operation over the frozen swamps, lakes, and rivers across the large areas of the Northeastern Europe. Polish-Swedish Wars and Polish-Muscovy  (nota bene Poland stopped using Muscovy and adopted new name  'Russia' around 1772 or so) Wars of the XVI-XVIII ( 16-18th) centuries were conducted during all seasons, including the coldest months. I guess they, the people of the Northeastern Europe, were the exception to the rule in the European warfare of the early modern and modern eras. Only Polish-Lithuanian  and Mongolian-Tatar armies were able to defeat and capture Moscow and do that to the Russian in their wintry country while the Western European armies of Napoleon and  later the German armies of the notorious  psycho and murder of millions Hitler could not withstand the cold and snow, eventually perishing under the snow, sleet and ice.

Eh, so many horses died in those wars, and the Napoleonic defeat in 1812 had direct bearing on the collapse of the so called Old Polish Horse as viable breed/type. But it also spelled the beginning of the Polish Arabian breeding, so successful in the late XIX and XX (20th ) centuries.

And this leads me to this subject – 'Ułani' or English Uhlans (actually older form was 'Halani') - the Polish lance-armed, wearing a 'czapka' ('chapska' square-topped hat of the Great Steppe origin) and 'kurtka' (a double-breasted Polish cavalry jacket), cavalry. They appeared in Western military history during the War of Polish Succession (1733=38) in the army of the Saxon and Polish King. It took almost a 70 odd years for these uhlans to become famous due to their service with the Napoleonic armies. I will write about that some other time...
So I wanted to start this theme, and I will be returning to it every so often, because I found some early images of the Polish Uhlans from the XVIII ( 18th ) century.
Two horsemen in full uniforms, showing all the distinctive characteristics of the early Uhlan uniforms. From Charles de Warnery's book on the light horsemen writtine in late XVIII century.

   For a moment let us return to the origin of the name - uhlan. I will skip for now all the Mongolian-Turkish origin of the word Ułan or oghlan, for sake of brevity and just turn to the origin of the cavalry formation name.

Polish name "Ułan" for these fine horse soldiers comes from the Polish-Lithuanian Tatar noble family surname 'Ułan,' and it was made especially famous and thus survived into the posterity because of one cavalry regiment commander named 'Aleksander Ułan' who was commanding the Polish cavalry 'pułk' - sort of a  regiment - in the Polish-Saxon king's service (during the Saxony-Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Union 1733-64) and this regiment was known via his surname as 'dzieci Ułanowe' (Ułan's children) and as such name was Germanized into 'der Uhlan'.

Nota bene there were several 'pulks' in the king's service but they all took this new name for light lance armed cavalry after Aleksander Ułan had died. They returned to Poland from Saxony in 1764, because our king Augustus had died, and they carried the name 'Ułan' in the Polish-Lithuanian army, during the Bar Confederation days and later after the Partitions
So after the Partitions of Poland (1772, 1793, 1795) some of the Polish cavalry regiments were forcibly incorporated into the practitioners' armies (Russia, Prussia and Austria), but only the Napoleonic wars made them Europe-famous and most desired in all European armies and beyond...

I must add that the first Ułan regiments were of the Polish (Lithuanian ) Tatars origin, who at first made the uniform to their liking and used their favorite weapon – a light lance (dzida or rohatyna) with a pennon, along with a sabre, pistol while the officers even carried bows as sign of prestige and rank.

In some not so distant future these Tatars and their history will be told here in some detail, or so I hope.
Pa ka
 the picture that I use for my 'avatar' is of such pre-1795 Polish-Lithuanian uhlan officer - done some years ago.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Husaria and poetry I

as mentioned husaria of the Old Poland appeared often in her poets written work, from Mikolaj Rey (Rej) od Naglowice to  Waclaw Potocki and mentioned already poet and soldier Wespazjan Kochowski.
Often these references were not direct,  for especially in the second half of 16th century ( XVII ) a noble knight ('rycerz') would serve mounted  with a lance ('drzewko' or 'kopia')  and need not be called a 'husarz' (winged hussar) for the audience to see him as one (even our best poet of this period Jan Kochanowski was described when welcoming king Henry in Cracow, dressed as winged hussar) ,  so for example one of the prolific writers  Marcin Bielski,_Marcin  wrote  in one of his satires 'kto chce w potkaniu pozyc dobrze Moskwicina, przytrzy nam predko z drzewem jak na Tatarzyna' ( one that wants to press hard a Muscovy soldier in a fight, needs to attack him quickly  with a lance in the same manner [one would do]  against a Tatar) ' Sen Maiowy' (Dream of a Hermit, 1586).  It was understood that one attacking with a 'drzewo' (lit. wood,  actually a lance) was a winged hussar. 
Often our poets would talk about hussar appearance and interesting information can be had from these verse as in Wacław Potocki poem where poet (who very often was a great satirist and comedian in his work) only recognizes a winged hussar by his costume details - 'karwasze' (warmbraces or forearms protectors )  and one wing (poem 'Pogonia Litewska', from  a compilation titled 'Ogrod Fraszek' written between 1675-90 but published in its entirety in 1907).
Potocki, having often written about war and politics in his poems, will often be revisited here (God willing), as many of his works have to do with fine horses and riders, their adventures and misadventures as well  - :)