Filip’s portrait


This is the portrait of Filip, the nephew of mine, dressed in Harry Potter’ uniform. The first sketches/drawings and photos of him were made while he was only five years old, fascinated by Rowling’ story, still dreaming to be invited to and to become one of the Hogwart’s magicians, but yet fearing it would never come true. For years, bearing in my mind the mix of desire, doubt and disillusionment struggling on his face (-where is my letter from Hogwart?), I was not able to find the accurate expression and might not finish that promised him long ago painting - until now, when he is eighteen, near adult man studying at the Bedfordshire College in Dunstable. I hope he still believes that a life could be as well a fairy tale as a reality, bringing and fulfilling the given promises.



Presenting this oil painting, I dedicate Filip also the poem, written by my husband Bogdan Jaremin, translated by Donald Malcolm, professor of the English literature at the University of Gdańsk, useful for all immature or adult dreamers:



Hush, hush, in slivers (Cicho sza w wycinkach)

(for grown-up children)



Why still not sleeping and asking without respite,

why still turning? Hush, hush, listen with all your might!


In the old house what sort of life?


Mouse runs business in the old house out of sight

(when cat’s on post), but rat’s instructor erudite.


What’s, what’s, what’s life?


The floor creaks softly, the pipe weeps, it’s clear alright

here’s life – a sprite? – the closet sighs: life’s taken flight!


But here lives life!


In the roof-beam the death-watch grinds like a termite

and moths chew shawl and yarn – to get some brains tho’ slight.


What’s, what’s, what’s life?


Chimney winds startle marten (in the roof a light

scuttle), feathers fall from pillow, bat snores soft polite.


Perhaps she knows what’s life?


So easy not to see the old house’s full of sprites

(secret comings) – they whisper sideways out of sight


the secret of what’s life.


Open eyes, prick ears, the moon flies at first light

before things start to move – perhaps it’s fancy’s flight


that you know what’s life?


Perhaps just phantoms, spider spinning threads so light,

laces ancient silence, the old house dreams of life?



Hush, hush, you’re sleeping tight!