A collection of the poetry Pope John Paul II wrote throughout his life, from his studies as a seminarian during the German occupation of Poland, to his historic election to the papacy, from which he transformed the Catholic Church and the world.
It was only after Karol Wojtyla was elected pope that his poetry came to worldwide attention. For years the verse that he had been composing since 1939 had been published under pseudonyms in his native Poland. After his election as Pope John Paul II in 1978, Wojtyla was identified as the poet and editions of his work were published around the world.
This collection represents all of the poems written by the pope between 1939 and 1978, in a translation by Jerzy Peterkiewicz that is the only English one authorized by the Vatican. Wojtyla wrote throughout his adult life, while he was a worker, a student, a priest, and a bishop, and his verse reflects the concerns of a man with a spiritual mission in a country that came under Communist control after the war.
Lyrical and often allegorical, The Place Within demonstrates Wojtyla’s development both as a man of God and as an artist. On their original publication in 1982, the Catholic Herald said,“These poems are astonishing for their luminious imagery, their rhythmic range, and, above all, for their penetrating imagination.” The Place Within stands as a perfect introduction to the thought and inspirations that have formed and guided one of the most beloved popes of modern times.
About Karol Woytila
Karol Wojtyla was born in 1920 in Wadowice, Poland. After studying literature and drama in Cracow, he worked in a stone quarry and a chemical plant before he began studying for the priesthood in 1942. He was hidden from the… More about Karol Woytila