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Wisława Szymborska’s poetry

Choice of essays- Translated by Karolina Krasuska and Jedrzej Burszta


Anna Nasilowska

This is a reader’s book about Wisława Szymborska’s poetry. She holds the Nobel Prize in Literature of 1996. The Contents of the book are the Nobel Lecture held in Stockholm at the official ceremony by the poet in December 1996, a choice of Polish essays about Szmyborska’s poetry and translations of her works into German, English, Spanish and French by Polish critics (translated into English). All essays were published at first in Polish in separated books or in literary revues. Since many years Wisława Szymborska’s poetry is translated into many different languages and loved by readers as intellectual and ironic comment to contemporary world. The book of critics written in Poland and by Western specialists on Polish literature shows how her poetry was read and seen on background of artistic tradition and experience of her generation and from the point of view of different currents in humanities.
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Szymborska’s World. Closing Remarques: Anna Nasiłowska


Szymborska’s World. Closing Remarques

Anna Nasiłowska

The world of Szymborska’s poetry is a world of a modern rationalist: one amazed by the rules of existence that are not entirely rational, accustomed to classical logic, but perfectly aware that it is not possible to program a better order without making tragic mistakes, since it seems that the mind does not cover everything. The subject matter of Szymborska’s poetry is indeed very broad and often not poetic, but scientific. She wrote about the theory of evolution, the circulation of matter, the rotation of the planet Earth, the intelligence of animals and about wandering clouds. She was also interested in natural history and the history of humanity seen in a nutshell, as a synthesis. Her conclusions were not optimistic, so Szymborska, while never abandoning poetry, would sometimes dabble in futurology. She wrote about death from the point of view of a cat, or about a stone that could not be persuaded to have a conversation. She was also interested in the topics that could have been easily overlooked, as well as in the dates that had been recorded neither in history, nor in personal memory, in the role of coincidence in peoples’ lives, and in what happens behind the scenes and after the end of great conflicts.

She also wrote short treaties on hate and tortures. She was never fooled by arguments forbidding poetry to take on journalistic topics. Throughout her entire life, beginning with the...

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