Poems, New and Collected, 1957-1997

by Wisawa Szymborska

Hardcover, 1998





New York : Harcourt Brace, c1998.


Described by Robert Hass as "unquestionably one of the great living European poets" and by Charles Simic as "one of the finest poets living today," Szymborska mesmerizes her readers with poetry that captivates their minds and captures their hearts. This is the book that her many fans have been anxiously awaiting-the definitive, complete collection of poetry by the Nobel Prize-winning poet, including 164 poems in all, as well as the full text of her Nobel acceptance speech of December 7, 1996, in Stockholm. Beautifully translated by Stanislaw Bara«nczak and Clare Cavanagh, who won a 1996 PEN Translation Prize for their work, this volume is a must-have for all readers of poetry.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Bookoholic73
A friend of mine asked er mother what she would do differently if she could change her life- and her mother answered that she would like to have read more poetry. This is how we came to discuss poets, and my friend introduced me to Wislawa Szymborska, that I had not been familiar with- a great shame, as I actually studied at the university of Uppsala where all the Nobel prize laureates give their speeches. (and never taking the opportunity to go to them will be my regret I guess)

We ended up reading her poems for about two hours, and I went to get a book of her poems at the nearest possibility and ran home to enjoy.

Apart from her Nobel Lecture, this book contains selected poems from Calling out to Yeti 1957, Salt 1962, No end of fun 1967, Could have 1972, A large Number 1976, The people on the bridge 1986, The end and the beginning 1993 and New Poems 1993-1997.
I am not sure what is missing, but all the poems I remember from our dinner are here.

I am not sure why my friend´s mother wished she had read more poetry, but while I was standing and flicking through the book in the bookshop, I realizes why I will try to read more poetry. In proze, you can "lazy read" and not pay 100% attention all the time- while reading poems, you need to stop and focus - otherwise the meaning will escape you. And this- the stopping and thinking- is so worth it.

And for those of you who, like me, did not know her work, here is a little flavour:

The hour between night and day.
The hour between toss and turn.
The hour of thirty-year-olds.

The hour swept clean for roosters crowing.
The hour when the earth takes back its warm embrace.
The hour of cool drafts from estinguished stars.
The hour of do-we-vanish-too-without-a-trace.

Empty hour.
Hollow. Vain.
Rock bottom of all the other hours.

No one feels fine at four a.m.
If ants feel fine at four a.m.,
we´re happy for the ants. And let five a.m. come
if we´re got to go on living.
… (more)
LibraryThing member aziz_zabidi
Brilliant. You shall be hypnotize with words, with clarity of ideas yet profoundly poetic in nature. Here and there you shall discovered something that you always had a sense about but you just have no capability to put it in words. This collection is a translated edition, with such beauty in this edition, you only can wonder, how much beauty you could get if you can read it in her original language.… (more)
LibraryThing member Eoin
Master. Szymborska has the kind of control that makes poems seems effortless and inevitable, as if you already knew what she is telling you (though you did not). Her warmth and curiosity thoroughly survive translation (as a monolingual, I can only wonder how strongly her tone rings in Polish). Reading 40 years of work in a single volume, the obvious curves of her life help define and establish the through-line of her perspective (careful, grounded wonder) as she loves, grows, and loses. Very enjoyable and immensely readable.… (more)


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