VATICAN CITY, JAN. 7, 2003 ( John Paul II has written a poetic work that will be published in Poland this year and then translated into other languages.

Responding to press reports, Father Pawel Ptasznik, of the Polish section of the Vatican Secretariat of State, confirmed in a note that "the text exists" and "will be published in the near future at a date that remains to be decided, not linked to any particular celebration."

Some media reported that the work would be published in October, for the 25th anniversary of John Paul II's pontificate.

A statement sent to the Kai Polish Catholic News agency explains that the original will be published in Krakow, exactly as Karol Wojtyla did with the rest of his poetic writings. The translations will be published later by the Vatican Press.

"I cannot anticipate news on the contents of the work, but it can be said, however, that it is not a reflection on death or the future life, but rather a poetic-religious meditation," the note explains.

The statement underlines that the Holy Father hopes that the publication of this poetic composition "will not focus the attention of readers on his person, but rather on what he bears in his heart, which he wishes to express poetically for the glory of God."

This will be the first poetic work that John Paul II publishes as Pope. In Poland, beginning in 1946, Karol Wojtyla published his poems primarily in two reviews, Tygodnik Powszechny and Znak of Krakow, under the pseudonyms Andrzej Jawien and Stanislaw Andrzej Gruda.