Wislawa Szymborska, fully Maria Wisława Anna Szymborska

Szymborska, fully Maria Wisława Anna Szymborska

Polish Poet, Essayist, Translator, Awarded Nobel Prize in Literature

Author Quotes

I prefer cunning kindness to the over-trustful kind.

I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order.

If B. ever forgave me in the end.

It turns out I was right. But nothing has come of it.

My siblings died the day I left for dry land and only one small bone recalls that anniversary in me.

Poets yearn, of course, to be published, read, and understood, but they do little, if anything, to set themselves above the common herd and the daily grind.

Take it not amiss, O speech, that I borrow weighty words, and later try hard to make them seem light.

There's nothing new under the sun: that's what you wrote, Ecclesiastes. But you yourself were born new under the sun. And the poem you created is also new under the sun, since no one wrote it down before you. And all your readers are also new under the sun, since those who lived before you couldn't read your poem. And that cypress under which you're sitting hasn't been growing since the dawn of time. It came into being by way of another cypress similar to yours, but not exactly the same.

What does the world get from two people/who exist in a world of their own?

I am who I am. A coincidence no less unthinkable than any other.

I prefer desk drawers.

I prefer the oaks along the Warta.

If there are angels they must, I hope, find this convincing, this merriment dangling from terror, not even crying Save me Save me since all of this takes place in silence.

It's just not easy to explain to someone else what you don't understand yourself.

No day copies yesterday, no two nights will teach what bliss is in precisely the same way, with precisely the same kisses.

Poorly prepared for the dignity of life, I barely keep up with the pace of the action imposed. Reality demands.

The buzzard has nothing to fault himself with. Scruples are alien to the black panther. Piranhas do not doubt the rightness of their actions. The rattlesnake approves of himself without reservations. The self-critical jackal does not exist. The locust, alligator, trichina, horsefly live as they live and are glad of it. The killer whale's heart weighs one hundred kilos but in other respects it is light. There is nothing more animal-like than a clear conscience on the third planet of the Sun.

They aren't obliged to vanish when we're gone. They don't have to be seen while sailing on.

Whatever inspiration is, it's born from a continuous I don't know... That is why I value that little phrase I don't know so highly. It's small, but it flies on mighty wings. It expands our lives to include spaces within us as well as the outer expanses in which our tiny Earth hangs suspended...Poets, if they're genuine, must always keep repeating I don't know.

I am, limited to my shape.

I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.

I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations.

I'm an old-fashioned person who believes that reading books is the most beautiful hobby that mankind has created.

It's me, let me go.

No day is repeated.

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Szymborska, fully Maria Wisława Anna Szymborska
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Polish Poet, Essayist, Translator, Awarded Nobel Prize in Literature