This thesis is a monograph about Anna Swirszczynska's poetry. It may be described as one woman's attempt to read another woman's literary work by taking into account established canons as well as the tools of feminist literary analysis. The present dissertation makes use of the feminist theoretical paradigms found in Simone de Beauvoir, Julia Kristeva and Annette Kolodny. It also takes into account the theories of Roland Barthes regarding the literary contexts of a work.
Part One begins with a discussion of Swirszczynska’s biography (Chapter One). It then moves on to an overview of critical (mainly male) reactions to Swirszczynska’s work (Chapter Two), with special regard to Czeslaw Milosz’s contribution to its interpretation and popularization (Chapter Three). In Part Two there are three principal discussions:
1) of Anna Swirszczynska's early work Wiersze i proza [Poems and Prose] (1936), in which the poet develops her specific female view of European art and culture as disintegrated into incongruent fragments. Her premonition of the apocalypse, which is soon to be fulfilled in the events of World War II, finds its expression in the poet's desperate attempts to unite the fragments of a shattered culture into individualized versions of myths (Chapter Four);
2) of the collection Budowalam barykade [Building the Barricade] (1974), in which what is most crucial to the poet (biographically and poetically) is expressed: the encounter with human suffering in an inhuman world. Following this, her poetic view of the mortal body exposed to suffering under an empty sky becomes a well established motif in her work (Chapter Five);
3) of the collection Jestem baba [I am All "Baba", where "baba" means variously: an ordinary or coarse woman, a peasant, a witch, an "old bag"] (1972), in which Swirszczynska introduces into poetry, by making the non-poetical "baba" her lyric heroine the "outlawed feminine" and, as a result, revolutionizes the language of poetry and poetic representation, which leads in turn to her liberating herself from the hegemony of the totalizing male view (Chapter Six).
In this way her anti-world is created. The "world" is understood here as a male term – one might say that Swirszczynska creates a "woman's anti-world" as a place where the woman herself has to regain the right to name things on her own terms.

Keywords: Swirszczynska/Swir, Milosz, the grotesque, ekphrastic poetry, The Warsaw Uprising, poetry of witness, the city lament, studium and punctum, the abject/abjection, body-soul dualism.