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Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Why of Wislawa Szymborska

If you have not ever read an entire collection of poems by Wislawa Szymborska, I urge you to do so right now.

Szymboraska,  a polish born poet, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996. Her voice is as clear as it is luminous. Her images, electric. 

In her 1996 Nobel lecture, she states:

"Poets, if they are genuine, must also keep repeating, 'I don't know.'...The world--whatever we might think when we're terrified by its vasteness and our own impotence or when we're embittered by its indifference to individual suffering, of people, animals, and perhaps even plants (for why are we so sure that plants feel no pain?); whatever we might think of its expanses pierced by the rays of stars surrounded by plants we've just begun to discover, planets already dead, still dead,we just don't know; whatever we might think of this measureless theater to which we've got reserved tickets, but tickets whose life span is laughably short, bounded as it is by two arbitrary dates; whatever else we might think of this world--it is astonishing."

This is the why of Wislawa Szmboraska.

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