Miracle Fair by Wislawa Szymborska
Selected Poems of Wislawa Szymborska

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Synopsis

This volume samples the full range of Wislawa Szymborska's major themes, love and history; lessons of history left unlearned; nature, the universe and our place within it; the whims of the imagination; and arts and the artist.
 

About Wislawa Szymborska

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Wislawa Szymborska was born in Bnin, Poland on July 2, 1923. After the Nazis invaded Poland in September 1939, she found work as a railway clerk to avoid deportation to Germany as a forced laborer. In her free time, she studied at illegal underground universities. After World War II, she resumed her formal studies in Polish literature and sociology at Jagiellonian University, but never earned a degree. In 1945, she published her first poem, I Am Looking for a Word, in a weekly supplement to the local newspaper. Her first book of poetry was published in 1952. Her other volumes of poetry include View with a Grain of Sand, People on a Bridge, Sounds, Feelings, Thoughts: Seventy Poems, and Here. In 1991 she won the Goethe Prize and in 1995 she was awarded the Herder Prize. She won the Nobel Prize for Poetry in 1996 and was awarded The Order of the White Eagle in recognition of her contribution to her country's culture in 2011. From 1953 to 1981, she worked as a poetry editor and columnist for the literary weekly Literary Life, where she wrote a column called Non-Required Reading. She died of lung cancer on February 1, 2012 at the age of 88. Joanna Trzeciak's translations include Miracle Fair: Selected Poems of Wis awa Szymborska, winner of the Heldt Translation Prize. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
 
Published May 1, 2001 by W. W. Norton & Company. 192 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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/ Its falling onto the windowsill / Is only our adventure.” This is a wonderful observation, one perhaps only a philosophically minded poet could arrive at, but height has its disadvantages too, as when conclusions are too neatly clinched: “Every beginning, after all, / Is nothing but a sequel, /...

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Instead, by sticking to rhyme in English, these versions too often adopt the jog-trot of doggerel, as in "A Man's Household": "...squeezed-out tubes, dried-out glue,/ jars big and small where something already grew,/ an assortment of pebbles, a little anvil, a vise,/ an alarm clock that's already...

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