Wislawa Szymborska

Children Of Our Age By Wislawa Szymborska

Children Of Our Age By Wislawa Szymborska

Children Of Our Age ———- Wislawa Szymborska We are children of our age, it’s a political age. All day long, all through the night, all affairs–yours, ours, theirs– are political affairs. Whether you like it or not, your genes have a political past, your skin, a po... »

Tortures By Wislawa Szymborska

Tortures By Wislawa Szymborska

Tortures ———- Wislawa Szymborska Nothing has changed. The body is susceptible to pain, it must eat and breathe air and sleep, it has thin skin and blood right underneath, an adequate stock of teeth and nails, its bones are breakable, its joints are stretchable. In tortures all this... »

Identification By Wislawa Szymborska

Identification By Wislawa Szymborska

Identification ———- Wislawa Szymborska It’s good you came—she says. You heard a plane crashed on Thursday? Well so they came to see me about it. The story is he was on the passenger list. So what, he might have changed his mind. They gave me some pills so I wouldn’t fall apart. The... »

Possibilities By Wislawa Szymborska

Possibilities By Wislawa Szymborska

Possibilities by Wislawa Szymborska English version by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak Original Language Polish I prefer movies. I prefer cats. I prefer the oaks along the river. I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky. I prefer myself liking people to myself loving mankind. I prefer keeping a needle... »

Birthday By Wislawa Szymborska

Birthday By Wislawa Szymborska

Birthday ———- Wislawa Szymborska Birthday So much world all at once – how it rustles and bustles! Moraines and morays and morasses and mussels, The flame, the flamingo, the flounder, the feather – How to line them all up, how to put them together? All the tickets and crickets and c... »

Three Oddest Words By Wislawa Szymborska

Three Oddest Words By Wislawa Szymborska

Three Oddest Words by Wislawa Szymborska Original Language Polish When I pronounce the word Future, the first syllable already belongs to the past. When I pronounce the word Silence, I destroy it. When I pronounce the word Nothing, I make something no nonbeing can hold. Hits: 0 »

First Love By Wislawa Szymborska

First Love By Wislawa Szymborska

First Love ———- Wislawa Szymborska They say the first love is the most important. That’s very romantic but it’s not the case with me. There was something between us yet there wasn’t. It transpired and expired. My hands don’t tremble, when I stumble upon smal... »

Poetry Reading By Wislawa Szymborska

Poetry Reading By Wislawa Szymborska

Poetry Reading ———- Wislawa Szymborska Poetry Reading To be a boxer, or not to be there at all. O Muse, where are our teeming crowds? Twelve people in the room, eight seats to spare it’s time to start this cultural affair. Half came inside because it started raining, the rest... »

Among The Multitudes By Wislawa Szymborska

Among The Multitudes By Wislawa Szymborska

Among the Multitudes by Wislawa Szymborska English version by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak Original Language Polish I am who I am. A coincidence no less unthinkable than any other. I could have different ancestors, after all. I could have fluttered from another nest or crawled bescaled fro... »

True Love By Wislawa Szymborska

True Love By Wislawa Szymborska

True Love ———- Wislawa Szymborska True love. Is it normal is it serious, is it practical? What does the world get from two people who exist in a world of their own? Placed on the same pedestal for no good reason, drawn randomly from millions but convinced it had to happen this way ... »

Hatred By Wislawa Szymborska

Hatred By Wislawa Szymborska

Hatred ———- Wislawa Szymborska See how efficient it still is, how it keeps itself in shape— our century’s hatred. How easily it vaults the tallest obstacles. How rapidly it pounces, tracks us down. It’s not like other feelings. At once both older and younger. It gives b... »

Pi By Wislawa Szymborska

Pi By Wislawa Szymborska

Pi ———- Wislawa Szymborska The admirable number pi: three point one four one. All the following digits are also initial, five nine two because it never ends. It can’t be comprehended six five three five at a glance, eight nine by calculation, seven nine or imagination, not ev... »

Advertisement By Wislawa Szymborska

Advertisement By Wislawa Szymborska

Advertisement ———- Wislawa Szymborska I’m a tranquilizer. I’m effective at home. I work in the office. I can take exams on the witness stand. I mend broken cups with care. All you have to do is take me, let me melt beneath your tongue, just gulp me with a glass of water. I know how... »

The Silence Of Plants By Wislawa Szymborska

The Silence Of Plants By Wislawa Szymborska

The Silence Of Plants ———- Wislawa Szymborska The Silence of Plants A one-sided relationship is developing quite well between you and me. I know what a leaf, petal, kernel, cone, and stem are, and I know what happens to you in April and December. Though my curiosity is unrequited, ... »

Going Home By Wislawa Szymborska

Going Home By Wislawa Szymborska

Going Home ———- Wislawa Szymborska He came home. Said nothing. It was clear, though, that something had gone wrong. He lay down fully dressed. Pulled the blanket over his head. Tucked up his knees. He’s nearly forty, but not at the moment. He exists just as he did inside his ... »

Photograph From September 11 By Wislawa Szymborska

Photograph From September 11 By Wislawa Szymborska

Photograph From September 11 ———- Wislawa Szymborska They jumped from the burning floors— one, two, a few more, higher, lower. The photograph halted them in life, and now keeps them above the earth toward the earth. Each is still complete, with a particular face and blood well hidd... »

A Great Man’s House By Wislawa Szymborska

A Great Man’s House By Wislawa Szymborska

A Great Man’s House ———- Wislawa Szymborska It was written in marble in golden letters: here a great man lived and worked and died. He laid the gravel for these paths personally. This bench — do not touch — he chiseled by himself out of stone. And — careful, three steps — we&... »

Lot’s Wife By Wislawa Szymborska

Lot’s Wife By Wislawa Szymborska

Lot’s Wife ———- Wislawa Szymborska 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. So I wouldn’t have to keep staring at the righteous nape of my husband LotR... »

The Joy Of Writing By Wislawa Szymborska

The Joy Of Writing By Wislawa Szymborska

The Joy Of Writing ———- Wislawa Szymborska Why does this written doe bound through these written woods? For a drink of written water from a spring whose surface will xerox her soft muzzle? Why does she lift her head; does she hear something? Perched on four slim legs borrowed from ... »

Dreams By Wislawa Szymborska

Dreams By Wislawa Szymborska

Dreams ———- Wislawa Szymborska Despite the geologists’ knowledge and craft, mocking magnets, graphs, and maps— in a split second the dream piles before us mountains as stony as real life. And since mountains, then valleys, plains with perfect infrastructures. Without engineers, con... »

On Death, Without Exaggeration By Wislawa Szymborska

On Death, Without Exaggeration By Wislawa Szymborska

On Death, Without Exaggeration ———- Wislawa Szymborska It can’t take a joke, find a star, make a bridge. It knows nothing about weaving, mining, farming, building ships, or baking cakes. In our planning for tomorrow, it has the final word, which is always beside the point. It... »

A ‘Thank You’ Note By Wislawa Szymborska

A ‘Thank You’ Note By Wislawa Szymborska

A ‘Thank You’ Note ———- Wislawa Szymborska There is much I owe to those I do not love. The relief in accepting they are closer to another. Joy that I am not the wolf to their sheep. My peace be with them for with them I am free, and this, love can neither give, nor know... »

Miracle Fair By Wislawa Szymborska

Miracle Fair By Wislawa Szymborska

Miracle Fair by Wislawa Szymborska English version by Joanna Trzeciak Original Language Polish Commonplace miracle: that so many commonplace miracles happen. An ordinary miracle: in the dead of night the barking of invisible dogs. One miracle out of many: a small, airy cloud yet it can block a large... »

The End And The Beginning By Wislawa Szymborska

The End And The Beginning By Wislawa Szymborska

The End And The Beginning ———- Wislawa Szymborska After every war someone has to clean up. Things won’t straighten themselves up, after all. Someone has to push the rubble to the side of the road, so the corpse-filled wagons can pass. Someone has to get mired in scum and ashes, sof... »

Could Have By Wislawa Szymborska

Could Have By Wislawa Szymborska

Could Have ———- Wislawa Szymborska 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. The left... »

A Few Words On The Soul By Wislawa Szymborska

A Few Words On The Soul By Wislawa Szymborska

A Few Words on the Soul by Wislawa Szymborska English version by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh Original Language Polish We have a soul at times. No one’s got it non-stop, for keeps. Day after day, year after year may pass without it. Sometimes it will settle for awhile only in childho... »

Nothing Twice By Wislawa Szymborska

Nothing Twice By Wislawa Szymborska

Nothing Twice by Wislawa Szymborska English version by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak Original Language Polish Nothing can ever happen twice. In consequence, the sorry fact is that we arrive here improvised and leave without the chance to practice. Even if there is no one dumber, if you̵... »

The Camel By Wislawa Szymborska

The Camel By Wislawa Szymborska

The Camel by Wislawa Szymborska English version by Joanna Trzeciak Original Language Polish Don’t tell a camel about need and want. Look at the big lips pursed in perpetual kiss, the dangerous lashes of a born coquette. The camel is an animal grateful for less. It keeps to itself the hidden sp... »

Consolation By Wislawa Szymborska

Consolation By Wislawa Szymborska

Consolation ———- Wislawa Szymborska Darwin. They say he read novels to relax, But only certain kinds: nothing that ended unhappily. If anything like that turned up, enraged, he flung the book into the fire. True or not, I’m ready to believe it. Scanning in his mind so many times an... »

A Contribution To Statistics By Wislawa Szymborska

A Contribution To Statistics By Wislawa Szymborska

A Contribution to Statistics by Wislawa Szymborska English version by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak Original Language Polish Out of a hundred people those who always know better — fifty-two doubting every step — nearly all the rest, glad to lend a hand if it doesn’t take t... »

I’m Working On The World By Wislawa Szymborska

I’m Working On The World By Wislawa Szymborska

I’m Working on the World by Wislawa Szymborska English version by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak Original Language Polish I’m working on the world, revised, improved edition, featuring fun for fools, blues for brooders, combs for bald pates, tricks for old dogs. Here’s one ... »

The Ball By Wislawa Szymborska

The Ball By Wislawa Szymborska

The Ball by Wislawa Szymborska English version by S. Baranczak and C. Cavanagh Original Language Polish As long as nothing can be known for sure (no signals have been picked up yet), as long as Earth is still unlike the nearer and more distant planets, as long as there’s neither hide nor hair ... »

Classifieds By Wislawa Szymborska

Classifieds By Wislawa Szymborska

Classifieds by Wislawa Szymborska English version by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak Original Language Polish WHOEVER’S found out what location compassion (heart’s imagination) can be contacted at these days, is herewith urged to name the place; and sing about it in full voice, an... »

Utopia By Wislawa Szymborska

Utopia By Wislawa Szymborska

Utopia ———- Wislawa Szymborska Island where all becomes clear. Solid ground beneath your feet. The only roads are those that offer access. Bushes bend beneath the weight of proofs. The Tree of Valid Supposition grows here with branches disentangled since time immermorial. The Tree ... »

Life While-You-Wait By Wislawa Szymborska

Life While-You-Wait By Wislawa Szymborska

Life While-You-Wait by Wislawa Szymborska English version by S. Baranczak and C. Cavanagh Original Language Polish Life While-You-Wait. Performance without rehearsal. Body without alterations. Head without premeditation. I know nothing of the role I play. I only know it’s mine. I can’t e... »

Still By Wislawa Szymborska

Still By Wislawa Szymborska

Still ———- Wislawa Szymborska In sealed box cars travel names across the land, and how far they will travel so, and will they ever get out, don’t ask, I won’t say, I don’t know. The name Nathan strikes fist against wall, the name Isaac, demented, sings, the name S... »

Clouds By Wislawa Szymborska

Clouds By Wislawa Szymborska

Clouds ———- Wislawa Szymborska Clouds I’d have to be really quick to describe clouds – a split second’s enough for them to start being something else. Their trademark: they don’t repeat a single shape, shade, pose, arrangement. Unburdened by memory of any kind, they float eas... »

Under One Small Star By Wislawa Szymborska

Under One Small Star By Wislawa Szymborska

Under One Small Star ———- Wislawa Szymborska 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. My apo... »

Negative By Wislawa Szymborska

Negative By Wislawa Szymborska

Negative ———- Wislawa Szymborska Negative Against a grayisch sky a grayer cloud rimmed black by the sun. On the left, that is, the right, a white cherry branch with black blossoms. Light shadows on your dark face. You’d just taken a seat at the table and put your hands, gone ... »

Some People By Wislawa Szymborska

Some People By Wislawa Szymborska

Some People ———- Wislawa Szymborska Some people fleeing some other people. In some country under the sun and some clouds. They leave behind some of their everything, sown fields, some chickens, dogs, mirrors in which fire now sees itself reflected. On their backs are pitchers and b... »

Children Of Our Era By Wislawa Szymborska

Children Of Our Era By Wislawa Szymborska

Children of Our Era by Wislawa Szymborska English version by Joanna Trzeciak Original Language Polish We are children of our era; our era is political. All affairs, day and night, yours, ours, theirs, are political affairs. Like it or not, your genes have a political past, your skin a political cast... »

Two Monkeys by Brueghel By Wislawa Szymborska

Two Monkeys by Brueghel By Wislawa Szymborska

Two Monkeys by Brueghel ———- Wislawa Szymborska I keep dreaming of my graduation exam: in a window sit two chained monkeys, beyond the window floats the sky, and the sea splashes. I am taking an exam on the history of mankind: I stammer and flounder. One monkey, eyes fixed upon me,... »

Hunger Camp At Jaslo By Wislawa Szymborska

Hunger Camp At Jaslo By Wislawa Szymborska

Hunger Camp At Jaslo ———- Wislawa Szymborska 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 for each one?” Write: I don’t know. History counts its skelet... »

Some Like Poetry By Wislawa Szymborska

Some Like Poetry By Wislawa Szymborska

Some Like Poetry ———- Wislawa Szymborska Some – thus not all. Not even the majority of all but the minority. Not counting schools, where one has to, and the poets themselves, there might be two people per thousand. Like – but one also likes chicken soup with noodles, on... »

Wislawa Szymborska – True Love

Wislawa Szymborska – True Love

True love. Is it normal is it serious, is it practical? What does the world get from two people who exist in a world of their own? Placed on the same pedestal for no good reason, drawn randomly from millions but convinced it had to happen this way – in reward for what? For nothing. The light descend... »

 Two Monkeys by Brueghel – Wislawa Szymborska

 Two Monkeys by Brueghel – Wislawa Szymborska

I keep dreaming of my graduation exam: in a window sit two chained monkeys, beyond the window floats the sky, and the sea splashes. I am taking an exam on the history of mankind: I stammer and flounder. One monkey, eyes fixed upon me, listens ironically, the other seems to be dozing- and when silenc... »

Utopia – Wislawa Szymborska

Utopia – Wislawa Szymborska

Island where all becomes clear. Solid ground beneath your feet. The only roads are those that offer access. Bushes bend beneath the weight of proofs. The Tree of Valid Supposition grows here with branches disentangled since time immermorial. The Tree of Understanding, dazzling straight and simple. s... »

Vermeer – Wislawa Szymborska

Vermeer – Wislawa Szymborska

 Vermeer – Wislawa Szymborska As long as the woman from Rijksmuseum in painted silence and concentration day after day pours milk from the jug to the bowl, the World does not deserve the end of the world. Hits: 9 »