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 rivaling prominent prose authors: although she once remarked in a poem, "Some Like Poetry" ("Niektórzy lubią poezję"), that no more than two out of a thousand people care for the art.
Szymborska was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature "for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical ... more »
Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets.
Wislawa Szymborska 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,
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,
In sealed box cars travel names across the land, and how far they will travel so, and will they ever get out,
Nothing can ever happen twice. In consequence, the sorry fact is that we arrive here improvised and leave without the chance to practice.
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,
Three Oddest Words
When I pronounce the word Future, the first syllable already belongs to the past. When I pronounce the word Silence, I destroy it.
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?
On Death, Without Exaggeration
It can't take a joke, find a star, make a bridge. It knows nothing about weaving, mining, farming, building ships, or baking cakes.
I’m a tranquilizer. I’m effective at home. I work in the office. I can take exams
It could have happened. It had to happen. It happened earlier. Later. Nearer. Farther off.
I prefer movies. I prefer cats. I prefer the oaks along the Warta. I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
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.
My apologies to time for all the world I overlook each second.
My apologies to past loves for thinking that the latest is the first.
Forgive me, distant wars, for bringing flowers home.
Forgive me, open wounds, for pricking my finger.
I apologize for my record of minuets to those who cry from the depths.
I apologize to those who wait in railway ...