Currently Reading Wislawa Szymborska

Wislawa Szymborska, a Polish born writer, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996. I have read her poems before buying her book, but did not take any notice of it because at that time I was not into poetry. Now that I have started writing poetry again, I wanted to find a poet who used a lot of irony in his/her works. Yesterday, as I was browsing the poetry section in Borders Damansara, I stumbled upon her book. Immediately I knew this is the writer I’m looking for. I wanted a contemporary poet as reference, not the classical ones as their poems are about settings or historical events that are too far for me to relate with.

I’m still in the process of reading her poems. So far, I’m very impressed with her works. No doubt her poems are complex, ironic, and dark, but they are easy to grasp since Szymborska prefer to use plain simple language. She uses figurative language at a minimal level, and her perception of the world can really surprise us. Below is a poem that I have extracted from her book:


We're extremly fortunate

not to know precisely

the kind of world we live in.

One would have

to live a long, long time,

unquestionably longer

than the world itself.

Get to know other worlds,

if only for comparison.

Rise above the flesh,

which only really knows

how to obstruct

and make trouble.

For the sake of research,

the big picture

and definitive conclusions,

one would have to transcend time,

in which everything scurries and whirls.

From that perspective,

one might as well bid farewell

to incidents and details.

The counting of weekdays

would inevitably seem to be

a senseless activity;

dropping letters in the mailbox

a whim of foolish youth;

the sign "No Walking on the Grass"

a symptom of lunacy.


Sarah said…
teringat puisinya dalam 'turn left turn right'...

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