po duszach

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jacquesvd

Senior Member
Dutch
Dear all: I don't understand how to translate the word 'po' in the following sentence: "Gwałt po duszach szalał" which is the header of an article in Przekrój.
I understand it to mean something like "souls overcome with mad violence" but how to explan the preposition 'po'?

Can anybody explain? Thanks
 
  • Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Dear all: I don't understand how to translate the word 'po' in the following sentence: "Gwałt po duszach szalał" which is the header of an article in Przekrój.
    I understand it to mean something like "souls overcome with mad violence" but how to explan the preposition 'po'?

    Can anybody explain? Thanks
    In this context you should understand it as "from one soul to another", or "affecting many/all of the souls". For me this is an excessively baroque expression, in bad style and bad taste. Maybe this is a quotation from a poem that I do not know.
    Similar expression with the use of "po":
    "Włóczył się po knajpach” - He cruised from bar to bar"
    "Chodził po polach” - He wandered from field to to field.
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    I am wondering if it can also mean all over/in(side)/round the souls.






     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I am wondering if it can also mean all over/in(side)/round the souls.
    I think that the expression itself does not give us a clue to such a detailed/deep interpretation. It is to vague for that. A soul has no surface, so you can not make a parallel to "po ciele". It would be different if the expression was in singular "... po duszy ..", but it would be then a very unusual preposition together with dusza. The only prepositions I know can be used without being weird is "w duszy" and "na duszy", and a very special idiom "bez grosza przy duszy".
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Having read the article, it seems to me that both are possible:
    six women were (allegedly) raped so that's the meaning closer to the 'surface' suggested by Ben Jamin. However, they all made it up, so one can interpret 'gwałt po duszach szalał' as 'thoughts/thinking about being raped "haunted" the minds of the women' (in other words they they thought about concocting a story about being raped). This deeper interpretation takes 'dusza' to mean 'człowiek' or more specifically 'umysł, głowa'. I think this use of 'dusza' may be similar to the one in the expression 'co ci leży na duszy?' meaning 'co ci chodzi po głowie?/co ci zaprząta głowę?'. One more thing that occurs to me is that 'dusza' can also mean someone who is a sort of main supervisor of an undertaking, this meaning is often used when something positive is done, but who knows perhaps it's got something to do with the word in the title of the article describing the tort too.

     

    jacquesvd

    Senior Member
    Dutch
    Having read the article, it seems to me that both are possible:
    six women were (allegedly) raped so that's the meaning closer to the 'surface' suggested by Ben Jamin. However, they all made it up, so one can interpret 'gwałt po duszach szalał' as 'thoughts/thinking about being raped "haunted" the minds of the women' (in other words they they thought about concocting a story about being raped). This deeper interpretation takes 'dusza' to mean 'człowiek' or more specifically 'umysł, głowa'. I think this use of 'dusza' may be similar to the one in the expression 'co ci leży na duszy?' meaning 'co ci chodzi po głowie?/co ci zaprząta głowę?'. One more thing that occurs to me is that 'dusza' can also mean someone who is a sort of main supervisor of an undertaking, this meaning is often used when something positive is done, but who knows perhaps it's got something to do with the word in the title of the article describing the tort too.
    According to meaning I understood this to mean that the souls were in a state of mad violence, but I couldn't rhyme it grammatically: szalał (maddened, made made) but this 'po' remains inexplicable to me for otherwise I would think that Violence(Gwałt) created madness (szalał)in the souls (po duszach) but I cannot find anywhere that 'po' could also mean "in".
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    According to meaning I understood this to mean that the souls were in a state of mad violence, but I couldn't rhyme it grammatically: szalał (maddened, made made) but this 'po' remains inexplicable to me for otherwise I would think that Violence(Gwałt) created madness (szalał)in the souls (po duszach) but I cannot find anywhere that 'po' could also mean "in".
    Gwałt means rape in the article. By the way, gwałt in the meaning violence is not used that often in everyday Modern Polish. Szalał in the context of the article means to rage, move with violence and by extension afflict. Souls are women. So once again:
    The rape afflicted the women. could convey both meanings:
    1. they were raped (here 'po' means from ... to ..., that is: the rape wandered from one woman to another one)
    2. they thought about it (here 'po' means in, that is the rape raged in their minds)

    Of course rape is anthropomorphised here and soul is used as a metonymy of a woman.

    It's just occured to me that the introductory paragraph explains it all quite nicely:
    Seryjny gwałciciel miał co najmniej sześć wcieleń, w tym operatora koparki i nieślubnego syna prokuratora. Zjawiał się w wielu miejscach prawie jednocześnie. A przede wszystkim w głowach sześciu kobiet

    Gwałt szalał po duszach
     

    jacquesvd

    Senior Member
    Dutch
    Gwałt means rape in the article. By the way, gwałt in the meaning violence is not used that often in everyday Modern Polish. Szalał in the context of the article means to rage, move with violence and by extension afflict. Souls are women. So once again:
    The rape afflicted the women. could convey both meanings:
    1. they were raped (here 'po' means from ... to ..., that is: the rape wandered from one woman to another one)
    2. they thought about it (here 'po' means in, that is the rape raged in their minds)​

    Of course rape is anthropomorphised here and soul is used as a metonymy of a woman.​

    It's just occured to me that the introductory paragraph explains it all quite nicely:
    Seryjny gwałciciel miał co najmniej sześć wcieleń, w tym operatora koparki i nieślubnego syna prokuratora. Zjawiał się w wielu miejscach prawie jednocześnie. A przede wszystkim w głowach sześciu kobiet

    Gwałt szalał po duszach
    Thanks, I see it clearly now, but these 'condensed' headers in Przekrój often make me struggle.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Thanks, I see it clearly now, but these 'condensed' headers in Przekrój often make me struggle.
    Isn't it typical that newspaper and magazine headers often are quizzical?
    They are made such on purpose, to make the readers curious. Very often you get disappointed when you come to the core of the news.
     
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