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WISLAWA SZYMBORSKA
Nobel Prize-winning poet
1923-2012


Krakow, Poland




VERMEER

So long as that woman from the Rijksmuseum
in painted quiet and concentration
keeps pouring milk day after day
from the pitcher to the bowl
the World hasn't earned
the world's end

- Wislawa Szymborska
(tr. Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak)

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Wislawa Szymborska, one of Poland's - and the world's - greatest and most well-loved poets. Former US Poet Laureate Charles Simic wrote in a review of her collection most recently published in English, Here, "Extremely smart, witty, and levelheaded, she seduces us by her wide range of interests, her atypical lack of narcissism for a poet, and her cheerful pessimism." Famously averse to travel and to publicity, she never visited the United States, though not for lack of invitations, and her friends refer to her winning the world's most prestigious award for literature in 1996 as "the Nobel disaster," because she so eschewed the public eye.


Szymborska's appeal came from her poetry alone and from her marvelous ability to speak with intimacy to a broad audience, as if each reader were sitting in her living room, sharing a cup of tea.


MORE ABOUT WISLAWA SZYMBORSKA

NEW YORK TIMES OBITUARY

OBITUARY IN THE GUARDIAN

MORE ABOUT HERE

MORE ABOUT THE FOUND IN TRANSLATION AWARD, 2011, FOR HERE