Wislawa Szymborska

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Wisława Szymborska-Włodek [viˈswava ʂɨmˈbɔrska] a Polish poet, essayist, translator and recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature. Born in Prowent, which has since become part of Kórnik, she later resided in Kraków until the end of her life.

She was described as a "Mozart of Poetry". In Poland, Szymborska's books have reached sales rivalin ...

Popular Poems
Under One Small Star

My apologies to chance for calling it necessity.
My apologies to necessity if I'm mistaken, after all.
Please, don't be angry, happiness, that I take you as my due.
May my dead be patient with the way my memories fade.

Some Like Poetry

Some -
thus not all. Not even the majority of all but the minority.
Not counting schools, where one has to,
and the poets themselves,

Lot's Wife

They say I looked back out of curiosity.
But I could have had other reasons.
I looked back mourning my silver bowl.
Carelessly, while tying my sandal strap.

Hunger Camp At Jaslo

Write it. Write. In ordinary ink
on ordinary paper: they were given no food,
they all died of hunger. "All. How many?
It's a big meadow. How much grass

A Few Words On The Soul

We have a soul at times.
No one’s got it non-stop,
for keeps.
Day after day,


Jo Bird 25 March 2021

The "image " of this magnificent poem is incomplete, which misses tha final triumphant message

0 0 Reply
Loribtate Btate 21 July 2020

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Monika 30 November 2018

Regarding crediting the translator - Szymborska had her poems printed in Polish and English, there are bi-lingual books available that has been printed under her supervision.

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Marion Chasteau 31 August 2018

This poet is no more. I am looking for her poem 'Life while you wait'

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Merrill Leffler 23 April 2018

I love Szymborska's poems — however, they are a collaboration between poet and translator (s) and unless I'm missing it, you don't credit the translators.

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Amanda Funmilayo Adebakin 05 December 2017

I actually think there is a lot of things to learn from this reading alone. At first it was hard to pronounce and spell WISLAWA SZYMBORSKA, but now i know how to. there is a lot of things to actually concenterate on in this poem, by the sides i love poem that cracks the brain open. the idea of this poem is the most incredible poetry writing i have ever read. this one is better than the other ones i have read all ready, this is in credible and brilliant.

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Amanda funmilayo adebakin 05 December 2017

This poem is a very great stuff to put all your mind and imagination into to understand, i love it.

4 2 Reply
Chris Long 21 September 2017


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Justaname Parer 14 May 2005

Hi, I have also seen 'Any case' translated like this: 'Could have' It could have happened. It had to happen. It happened earlier. Later. Nearer. Farther off. It happened, but not to you. You were saved because you were the first. You were saved because you were the last. Alone. With others. On the right. On the left. Because it was raining. Because of the shade. Because the day was sunny. You were in luck - there was a forest. You were in luck - there were no trees. You were in luck - a rake, a hook, a beam, a brake, A jamb, a turn, a quarter-inch, an instant... So you're here? Still dizzy from another dodge, close shave, reprieve? One hole in the net and you slipped through? I couldn't be more shocked or speechless. Listen, how your heart pounds inside me. Wislawa Szymborska, 'Could have', in View with a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems, trans. Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh, Harcourt Brace & Company, New York,1996, pp.65-66.

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