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Wislawa Szymborska

Wislawa Szymborska (in Polish Wisława Szymborska) (1923 - ) is a Polish poet, essayist and translator of French literature. Born in 1923 in Bnin near Poznan in Poland. In 1931 her family moved to Cracow where from 1945 to 1948 she studied Polish language and sociology at the Jagiellonian University. From that time Szymorska loved Cracow and is inseparably connected with this historic city. In the early 1950s she gained a journalist post in a literature review magazine called "Zycie Literackie". Then she worked in some other literature magazines - she has always had her own column for decades; the articles were later published in book form. Since her debut in 1945 she has published over a dozen poetic books.

She was awarded the Johann Wolfgang Goethe Award in 1991 and later The Herder Award. Most importantly she is the laureate of Nobel Prize in literature in 1996.

Her major works :

  • Dlatego zyjemy (1952)
  • Pytania zadawane sobie (1954)
  • Wolanie do Yeti (1957)
  • Sol (1962)
  • 101 wierszy (1966)
  • Sto pociech (1967)
  • Poezje wybrane (1967)
  • Wszelki wypadek (1972)
  • Wielka liczba (1976)
  • Ludzie na moscie (1986)
  • Poezje: Poems (bilingual Polish-English edition) (1989).
  • Lektury nadobowiazkowe (1992)
  • Koniec i poczatek (1993)
  • Widok z ziarnkiem piasku (1996)
  • Sto wierszy - sto pociech (1997)

She has developed her own unmistakable poetic style. Her poems are built on tradition of 20th century poetry and humanistic mainstream. However, being a strong, individualistic personality, she consistently detaches herself from current philosphical, artistic and cultural trends.
The poetic style of Szymborska is clear, well thought-out and precise, some may say it is classical. She is the master of irony, paradox and more often than one might suspect of an distinguished lady - joke. It is not widely known that she writes wonderful limericks.

Artistic integrity and independence combined with truthfulness gained her a wide group of devoted readers. Surprisingly, her poems regularly reach the circulation of some popular novels.

As a person she is a quiet but witty woman, fragile but with a strong personality, who dislikes being in the limelight but is a charming speaker. If there is an occasion be sure not to miss a meeting with Szymborska - you will be enchanted and the remembrance of her poetic genius will with you forever.

See also :

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