Saturday, February 4, 2012

Polish Poet & Nobel Laureate, Wislawa Szymborska Dies at Aged 88

Wislawa Szymborska passed away in her sleep from lung cancer on February 1, 2012. Polish president, Bronislaw Komorowski, has called Wislawa Szymborska Poland's "guardian spirit".
Wislawa Szymborska won the Nobel Prize for her poetry in 1996. The Nobel Committee described her "as the 'Mozart of poetry' but with 'something of the fury of Beethoven' – and by an Italian newspaper as the 'Greta Garbo of World Poetry'" writes Alison Flood for the United Kingdom's newspaper The Guardian in an article titled Wislawa Szymborska, 'Mozart of poetry', dies aged 88. Alison Flood went on to further write in her article about Wislawa Szymborska, saying the following:
She took the Nobel in 1996 despite having published only 200 or so poems: she was praised by the committee for her poetry "that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality".
In her Nobel speech, she spoke of the extraordinary nature of life, of how she would love to tell Ecclesiastes that "'There's nothing new under the sun': that's what you wrote, Ecclesiastes. But you yourself were born new under the sun", and of how, "in the language of poetry, where every word is weighed, nothing is usual or normal. Not a single stone and not a single cloud above it. Not a single day and not a single night after it. And above all, not a single existence, not anyone's existence in this world."
Despite her popularity, Szymborska shied away from the public spotlight telling The Guardian in 2000 that "there's simply too much fuss about myself".

Some of Wislawa Szymborska's published books of poetry may be found for sale on

To learn more about Wislawa Szymborska, read the Los Angeles Times article, Wislawa Szymborska dies at 88; Nobel-winning Polish poet, by Elaine Woo.

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