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1. Here
2. Poems New and Collected
3. View with a Grain of Sand: Selected
4. Miracle Fair: Selected Poems of
5. Sounds, Feelings, Thoughts
6. People on a Bridge: Poems
7. Nonrequired Reading: Prose Pieces
8. Monologue of a Dog
9. Wislawa Szymborska: A Stockholm
10. Poems, New and Collected (1957-97)
11. View with a Grain of Sand
12. Liebesgedichte
13. Auf Wiedersehen. Bis morgen.
14. Koniec i poczatek (Biblioteka
15. Hundert Freuden.
16. Poczta literacka, czyli, Jak zostac
17. Chwila
18. Augenblick / Chwila
19. Widok z ziarnkiem piasku: 102
20. Szymborska: Szkice (Polish Edition)

1. Here
by Wislawa Szymborska
Hardcover: 96 Pages (2010-10-26)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$13.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 054736461X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

A new book of poems by Wislawa Szymborska is a rare and exciting event. When Here was published in Poland, reviewers marveled, “How is it that she keeps getting better?” These twenty-seven poems, as rendered by prize-winning translators Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak, are among her greatest ever. Whether writing about her teenage self, microscopic creatures, or the upsides to living on Earth, she remains a virtuoso of form, line, and thought.
From the title poem:
I can’t speak for elsewhere,
but here on Earth we’ve got a fair supply of everything.
Here we manufacture chairs and sorrows,
scissors, tenderness, transistors, violins, teacups, dams, and quips . . . 
Like nowhere else, or almost nowhere,
you’re given your own torso here,
equipped with the accessories required
for adding your own children to the rest.
Not to mention arms, legs, and astonished head.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars enjoyable and accessible volume by Nobel-prize winning Szymborska
Though I admire a good poet, I admittedly don't read a lot of poetry.I knew Szymborska had won the Nobel-prize and wondered if her work might be too obscure for a novice like me.I was happy to find this volume very accessible.

Szymborska writes in simple language, focusing on her thoughts and observations as they relate to everyday life.In this way, despite her Polish background and literary prestige, she brings herself to the universal level of a single human full of uncertainties.Among the topics she writes about are life on earth; the idea of nature being tired of making so many new faces, so resorting to recycling older faces from history; the way self-doubt and the inner critic cause her to not listen to her own ideas and inspiration; looking back upon herself as a teenager as though upon a stranger; the relationship with memory; the power and insignificance of microorganisms; fossils; space, sky and flight; the effect of divorce on other people and objects; and how assassins lead lives like the rest of us.

The poems are presented in both the original Polish and the English translation.Not knowing Polish, I can't comment on the accuracy of the translation.But I can say that I found the poems easy to read and to relate to.

This is a short and intriguing introduction to a world-class poet.It made me want to read more.

5-0 out of 5 stars an Amazing set of poems by an Amazing, and Insightful, Author
It has been a very long time, indeed, since I have been "captivated" by a "new discovery" in the field of poets. Wislawa Szymborska makes the grade, easily, and I DO find myself "entranced" (if you will), returning to this little book over and over to re-read "just once more" many of these poems presented here.

Szymborska has a way of taking even the most miniscule, invisible things, or details, and getting your brain to see them as beautiful and notable as a sunlit rose window....everything totally re-envisioned as you have NEVER imagined they could look before. Her work is truly astonishing, and I write this review with great pleasure, and certainly do hope that it will pique your interest into both discovering Wislawy Szymborska, and her insightful, astonishing, poetry.

This is easily one of the most rewarding, and "special" books that I have read this year.

Do yourself a favor and read this book...it is a Great Treat for the mind and soul! You certainly will see many things in a new light thanks to Szymborska's insight!


5-0 out of 5 stars a wonderful wonderful and yet again wonderful poet
I love Szymborska's work and this book is no exception.The poems are accessible, quirky and thought provoking at the same time - also unsentimental and suffused with humor and a love of life as it is.The poems appear in Polish on the left hand page and in the English translation on the right hand page.I don't read Polish, alas,but I still enjoy seeing the original Polish on the opposite page.The translators must be brilliant as the poems are so very good and full of personality and the humor comes across so well in English that I can't imagine their being much better in the original.

5-0 out of 5 stars Here & now, the world as it is
This may be a slim volume of poetry, but its few pages are overflowing with imagery & ideas, all made tangible in the wry, matter-of-fact language & tone that marks the work of Wislawa Szymborska. It's not so much world weary as it is aware of the world, seen & experienced with an unsentimental yet empathetic clarity. She's clearly lived through so much over the past decades, along with Poland itself, that there's very little (if any) illusion left. War, political oppression, absurdity & disaster -- she's seen it all & been shaped by it.

Yet the world can still astonish & delight her, even with the most ordinary things -- especially with those ordinary things, in fact. Everything, no matter how seemingly small or trivial, is an entry to musing, thought, wonder. More often than not, that leads to a new view of the world, a new perspective ... but always presented as the most natural, obvious thing, rather than an easy, glib epiphany. Again, there's that matter-of-fact quality, almost scientific in its unadorned precision; while at the same time, the beauty of image & idea is revealed very plainly, almost bluntly at times.

For example, she can take a conceit like meeting herself as a teenager & make it illuminating without ever being the least bit maudlin. Even in the final lines, referring to a scarf crocheted by her mother, there's absolutely no superficial facsimile of emotion, designed to manipulate the reader. Not that you won't be moved! But everything that's evoked here is earned. There's no cheating here, no pandering. There's only a sparse yet detailed purity, touched with a crisp humor so sharp it can draw blood.

Most highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Exciting selection of poems
If poets are supposed to find beauty in every day little things, than it is certainly true that Polish Nobel Prize Winner for Literature Wislawa Szymborska can easily find one.Credit also must go to her translators who have done a wonderful job in translating her work from Polish to English.

Ms. Szymborska's latest selection includes over 20 poems and they cover every topic under the sun.It is difficult for me to decide which one is the favorite one.I definitely like poems "Here" and "Divorce".However, others are just as good.One can enjoy poetic ode to Vermeer's painting "Milkmaid", celebration of Ella Fitzgerald and reflection on (author's) youth.

In addition to English translations, this collection also has original poems printed in Polish.This can only add additional joy to native Polish speakers who can enjoy Ms. Szymborska's work in both English and Polish language in this printing.

I keep this book with me at work and when things get tough, I read a random poem from this selection and that makes everything much better. ... Read more

2. Poems New and Collected
by Wislawa Szymborska
Paperback: 296 Pages (2000-11-16)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$8.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0156011468
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
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.
Amazon.com Review
All poets, according to Wislawa Szymborska, are in a perpetualdialogue with the phrase I don't know. "Each poem,"she writes in her 1996 Nobel Lecture, "marks an effort to answerthis statement, but as soon as the final period hits the page, thepoet begins to hesitate, starts to realize that this particular answerwas pure makeshift, absolutely inadequate." As a self-portrait,at least, this is fairly accurate. From the beginning, Szymborska hasindeed wrestled with the demon of epistemology. Yet even in herearliest poems, such as "Atlantis," she delivered herspeculations with a human--which is to say, a gently ironic--face:

They were or they weren't.
On an island or not.
An ocean ornot an ocean
Swallowed them up or it didn't.

Fifteenyears later, when her 1972 collection, Could Have, appeared,Szymborska seemed to have made some major inroads into her notoriousignorance. Now she confessed to at least a shred of comprehension,stressing, however, that such knowledge has come at a terrible price:"We read the letters of the dead like helpless gods, / but gods,nonetheless, since we know the dates that follow. / We know whichdebts will never be repaid. / Which widows will remarry with thecorpse still warm." And even in her most recent work, the poetcontinues to gravitate toward the admirable emptiness of, say, theclouds: "Unburdened by memory of any kind, / they float easilyover the facts." Ultimately, though, the joke is on Szymborska,whose poems have grown more witty, more humane, and more tender--inother words, more knowing--with each passing year. View with a Grain ofSand remains an excellent point of entry to Szymborska'soeuvre, but Poems New and Collected is the place to go for awide-angle view of this superlative and sardonic writer. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
A wonderful collection of an accomplished poet's best poems. What more is there to say? Buy this!

5-0 out of 5 stars Poems that will take you by surprise
Wislawa Szymborska's poetry has this incredible but simple, accessible depth. The reader will most likely be surprised. When one thinks of most Eastern European poets, there seems to hover an element of melancholy as opposed to wonder. Szymborska has the wonder with an aura of detachment.

Reading this collection, I was also intrigued by her use of humor as in the case of 'Hitler's First Photograph' which highlights a baby Adolf. The language is silly, the way adults talk to babies but there is an element of dark foreboding.

Others I enjoyed were 'View with a Grain of Sand', 'Poetry Reading', 'Lot's Wife' and 'The Suicide's Room'. But of course, there are so many others here you can return to and re-read and re-read. Each of these poems have been carefully assembled, from the images to the tones and of course, plaudits for the translators making the English feel so smooth, simple and at times, almost Polish.

Szymborska is a very conscious and aware poet and she brings the outside political world inside and the inside personal world out. The microcosm and macrocosm of humanity is continually balanced and the poems will undoubtedly be read in the centuries to come. If I had to pick a woman to represent the 20th century, it would be Wislawa Szymborska.

A must read for poetry lovers.

As you read these poems, one must stop and ponder a bit. We are all basically the same, all over the world. Anyone in any country could relate to her feelings. Symborska shows us this, growing up through many tumultuous years in a war ridden and tortured country that never seems to get a break: Poland.

She writes deep and connects to all... who can take a moment and think about what she writes.

FOUR AM, is alone worth the price of this masterpiece.

Easy to see how Symborska won The Nobel Prize in Literature.

Another great Polish Poet that is also a must read: New and Collected Poems: 1931-2001 by Czeslaw Milosz

5-0 out of 5 stars All over the map, in a good way
If you're like most Americans, you read tons and tons of poetry, especially poetry by Polish Nobel Laureates. Well, maybe not so much. Actually, if you're craving a thoughtful read, something a bit challenging emotionally, then pick up a copy of this collection. The "all over the map" in the review title refers to the territory Ms. Szymborska covers, whether topical choice, attitude, frame of reference, stylistic ... there's bound to be a few works in here that hit you like a two-by-four, and others that perhaps leave you scratching your head for a while.
I wanted to savor this book but wound up cruising right through, perhaps because I expect to re-read it within a month or so to see if it retains its impact. Szymborska seems to have a touch with nature themes, and isn't afraid to play around with the structure of her poems (sometimes maybe a bit too relentlessly). I gave this work five stars, but am troubled by the lurking influence of the translator, which on occasion overwhelms some poems (?). It is hard to imagine a piece in Polish being so fortuitously converted into English and yet retaining rhymes which work so well ... a little too well, and a little cutesy, too. Considering the dark mood of many of the poems, one has to wonder whether one is reading Szymborska or Baranczak/Cavanagh? Unfortunately, lacking sufficient command of Polish to read it in the original, one has to hope this is a true reflection. But, other than that qualifier, "Poems New and Collected" is a worthwhile read.
I'll not trifle with singling out any particular tidbits, but suffice it to say that there'll be several poems that leave you pondering "what did she mean?",many that will provide you with a Kafka-esque insight (some of his "vignettes" provoke a "oh, yeah, it *is* just like that"), and finally, two or three poems which will probably accompany you for the rest of your life. Oh well, I'll admit to really liking "Cat in an empty apartment" and "The Railroad Station", among others.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a Valentine poem to Wislawa's poems.
This is a Valentine poem to Wislawa's poems.

I do not speak Polish, but my old mother does, and besides I find it
somewhat comforting just to have an interpreter and even that little
language barrier that leaves room for wonder. So while I can't read
what you exactly meant to say, I mean it exactly when I say I am
one person more than I was before I read you. Some do like poetry,
and your mind is poetry-minded. But what I like best that made me
write this square little poem to thank you is that you made me find
the part of me that has been hiding quietly while the rest of my body
shook unpatiently to clean right out of me the disgruntled, frightened
little girl who still thinks about the rest of the very large world. There
is hope in your poems, there are dreams in your poems, there is such
simple language in your poems that I think that maybe since I can see
the beauty you want to see in the world in such a simple world poem,
maybe I'll take some of that beauty from our pages and our small self-
worlds and now that you have become a part of me, my sweet and wise
old Valentine, the little voice reaching out and grabbing fearlessly at
really actually saving somebody from something like you saved me from
too young running out of somethings to find worth saving will BE MINE. ... Read more

3. View with a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems
by Wislawa Szymborska
Paperback: 224 Pages (1995-05-26)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$1.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0156002167
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
From one of Europe’s most prominent and celebrated poets, a collection remarkable for its graceful lyricism. With acute irony tempered by a generous curiosity, Szymborska documents life’s improbability as well as its transient beauty to capture the wonder of existence. Preface by Mark Strand. Translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh, winners of the PEN Translation Prize.
Amazon.com Review
True, the gentlemen of the Swedish Academy have made more thantheir share of bloopers. But when they bestowed the Nobel Prize uponWislawa Szymborska in 1996, they got it right, rescuing a major poetfrom minor obscurity. Two previous collections of her work hadappeared in English, of course. Yet View with a Grain of Sandis by far the best introduction to the Polish writer, conveying notonly the fantastic lightness of her touch but the entire worlds shemanages to pack into, as it were, a grain of sand. Miniscule wondersare her specialty, such as the tableau she records in "MiracleFair": "The usual miracle: / invisible dogs barking / in thedead of night. / One of many miracles: / a small and airy cloud / isable to upstage the massive moon." Yet Szymborska is also a lovepoet of peculiar tartness:

True love. Is it reallynecessary?
Tact and common sense tell us to pass over it insilence,
like a scandal in Life's highest circles.
Perfectlygood children are born without its help.
It couldn't populate theplanet in a million years,
it comes along so rarely.

What comes along so rarely, in fact, is a writer of this quality--anda translation that does her justice. Szymborska's brilliance wouldprobably overpower even a second-rate rendering into English. Butthanks to the efforts of Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh, sheis not only brilliant but supremely readable--an intellectual comedianfor whom "there's nothing more debauched than thinking." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Elegant Steel
Some of us like it rough. This dame plays the way we used to play in the streets of Philly. There is elegance, there is subtle intelligence, yes, all that, but the best part is that when the ball hits you, it stings like hell. She writes of life and living, but also of eternity and death. She is somber, but never depressing. The language itself is encouraging, even when her message is not. This is a 20th century poet who has seen it all and isn't afraid to remind us of what man is capable of. The techniques are modern, too, but the love of language surely belongs to the old world. This is the kind of poetry we all used to love to read. She plays hard ball.

5-0 out of 5 stars Poetry by a Great Lady
Wisala Szymborska's poetry passes the test of intelligibility which is important to me.Virtually all of her poems are self contained in that they do not make arcaneliterary allusions.In other words, her poetry can be appreciated by the average reader which I consider myself to be. She does not limit herself in subject matter so her poetry contains something for everyone, and also with a subtle humor and an obvious understanding of the human condition.She does not require a lot of words or a lengthy poem to share her own unique insights.Reading this Nobel laureate one thinks how nice it wold be to meet this great lady.Although I devoured this collection the day I received this book, it is one which I will certainly read again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lost in Translation!
The Nobel Laureate in Literature of 1996 was proudly bestowed on Wislawa Szymborska, the first Polish woman to receive the prize for literature. While they are other Polish recipients like poet Czeslaw Milosz, Wladyslaw Reymont, and Henry Sienkiewicz to have received the honor, Wislawa is the first woman. While she writes poetry mostly, she has written prose. My biggest problem with poetry is that when it's written in another language, I believe it gets lost in translation but rather the meaning is not lost among its readers. The translators have the arduous task of translating from Polish to English. If you anything about Polish, it's not an easy language to translate from especially to English. But Wislawa is worthy of receiving such top honors because she is now well-known, highly regarded and respected. She has not changed much since she was awarded the NObel prize. She still lives in the same three room apartment in Cracow, she still smokes, and she is still the same humble person who despite her own feelings is quite worthy of such a prize.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice little collection from a Nobel Prize winner
...Containing over eighty poems from seven original collections, this book serves as a well-rounded and pleasant introduction to Szymborska's work.This is a good choice for anyone interested in good poetry, women under communist regimes, or Polish literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another praise, from a younger reader
This book was and still is my first poetry book; not because I haven't read anyone else's, but it's the first compilation that I was really willing to pay the often outrageous prices for. (LOL) I am not an avid poetry reader, nor am I familiar with the current favorite contemporary poets, but I find that she really does succinctly portray "life's improbability as well as its transient beauty" quite well.

As a younger reader , I do have a bit of a problem identifying with the poetry that she writes pre-1972 (that is, the first few sections before the 'Could Have' section), because I don't really know much about it. As a note though, I probably should say that 'Nothing Twice,' which is about the probabilities of chance, from the pre-1972 section has been a real gem. Anyhow, the travelogues, the places, the books are things that frankly, I'd ask my parents and they probably wouldn't know either, or know very little about. I suppose if I researched enough, I would have no trouble understanding her message, but the stuff I really bought this book for was the pro-1972 sections. I can identify the issues because they're fairly general knowledge and have a certain mocking humor to some of them, but the words do just pull you in. The poems are addressed to one, and to all, and you feel like you're part of the whole. There are instances in which you feel like she's writing about you and the instances you've gone through, and that's what makes you feel amazed at the depth of understanding she has on these matters.

I first discovered her poetry in my high school English class and was surprised to find this book as the only book available in my favorite bookstore (and costing almost triple the cost of a volume of poetry that must have been 600 pages long, with of course long-dead, long-cherished poets). Oh, wait--I did find another book containing her work (that I don't remember the name of) but I bought this one because there were simply more poems that I liked. After a month or two of muddling around and waiting for the price drop (which it didn't), I just gave up and bought it. I can't say that I've regretted that decision.

And...if you still have trouble deciding, the Nobel Prize for Literature she won should be more than enough of a pull to help you decide. It wasn't as much of a deciding factor for me, but it's always nice to know that somewhere in the depths of the blackhole that is my room, I actually have nobel prize literature that I understand and can recommend to others...

My favorite poems from her have been 'Could Have,' 'The Onion,' 'Discovery,' 'True love,' 'Under One Small Star,' 'Pi,' of course 'View with a grain of Sand' because of wordplay, but I find that every time I re-read it, I uncover more about the poems and so that favorites list keeps on getting longer and longer.

It may sound a little strange, but I keep it with me when I travel for long periods of time away from home and turn to it when I have that rare solitary moment to really think about life and what its inner workings are because it just gives such a realistic criticism that you sort of go...wow. Never really thought about it like that before. ... Read more

4. Miracle Fair: Selected Poems of Wislawa Szymborska
by Wislawa Szymborska
Paperback: 176 Pages (2002-11)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$3.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393323854
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Winner of the Heldt Prize for Translation. A new translation of the Nobel Prize-winning Polish poet, with an introduction by Czeslaw Milosz. This long-awaited volume samples the full range of Wislawa Szymborska's major themes: the ironies of love, the wonders of nature's beauty, and the illusory character of art. Szymborska's voice emerges as that of a gentle subversive, self-deprecating in its wit, yet graced with a gift for coaxing the extraordinary out of the ordinary. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Heart of the swallow/have mercy on them
What beautiful little worlds Wislawa Szymborska creates. Miracle Fair is an upstanding collection of her trademark intelligence, and simple yet very deep understanding of the mundane in nature and life's ironies. Her poems typically begin with the smallest of circumstances, and the reader follows it, assured of the simplicity of the theme, and then at the end comes the zinger which, with a line or two, transforms it into a much more complex creation. Which is not to say that her work is inaccessible; Szymborska is one of the most thoroughly enjoyable poets I have ever come across. This collection is a treat for lovers of natural poetry, and is filled on every page with graceful insights to the human condition.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Poetry That Is, For The Most Part, Accessible To All.
Wislawa Szymborska (pronounced Vis-wah-vah Shim-bor-ska) is one of the few women to win the Nobel Prize.She won it in 1996 for her poetry.What makes her poetry that incredible is that, in simple terms, she is able to convey universal thoughts.Although Szymborska is Polish, her poems are not restricted by Eastern European culture.They are universal.To start, I recommend you read her poem entitled, "Hatred." I showed that one to several people who alleged that they disliked poetry because they could never understand it.However, by showing such poem, each one of those people that I showed that poem to not only understood it, but recognized her genius.This won't be the case for all of her poems, as a few are abstract for the pleasure of abstract thinkers.If you enjoy this collection of poetry, look into Szymborska's other collections of poetry.You won't be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars A playful yet powerful poetic voice from Poland
"Miracle Fair: Selected Poems of Wislawa Szymborska" is translated into English by Joanna Trzeciak, and features a foreword by Czeslaw Milosz.The book also includes a biographical essay on the poet (pages 155-59).The essay notes that she was born in Poland in 1923 and received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996.The essay also describes the challenges she faced as a writer under the communist regime that ruled Poland for decades.Also featured in the book are reproductions of whimsical collages created by Szymborska.

This is a rich and varied collection of poems.I was particularly struck by the author's wit, humor, and often biting satire.At times her work is graced by touches of the surreal or fantastic.Her voice can be both compassionate towards, and sharply critical of, humanity.Overall the book demonstrates her skill at using a variety of writerly techniques: direct address, personification, parallel structures, historical allusion, dialogue, and paradox.In her poetry she draws on the language of mathematics and other disciplines.

I found some of the most striking poems in the collection to be the following."Commemoration": written in the form a charmingly iconoclastic prayer."A Man's Household": a gentle and humorous satire of a man devoted to fix-it-yourself projects."Starvation Camp at Jaslo": a cutting meditation on injustice and suffering that employs biting, grim satire."The Turn of the Century": uses personification as a technique to look back critically at the 20th century ("Its years are numbered,/ its step unsteady")."Torture": employs particularly powerful language as she looks at the title phenomenon.

Also worthy of note--"Water": finds a globe-encompassing revelation in a single drop of water."A Word on Statistics": a cleverly structured, witty satire that leads to a real kicker of an ending."Pi": a poem about the mathematical concept of the title."Miracle Fair": a witty and wonderful piece that reminds me of the style and spirit of Pablo Neruda's great work "The Book of Questions.""Poetry Reading": pokes gentle fun at the poetic vocation.

The book as a whole is clearly the work of a skilled and confident master craftsperson who has a real passion to share her vision.Hers is a complex and compelling voice, at times grimly serious, at times playful and childlike.A number of her poems seem to invite the reader to partake of a dramatically altered, even magical perspective--a fresh and even radical new way of looking at the world around us.Her poems on violence and human suffering have a political edge and moral power that remind me of the work of Audre Lorde.And some of her poetry reminds me of Buddhist or Taoist thought--specifically, of teachings on emptiness and nonstriving.At her most luminous, Szymborska strikes me as firmly in the great tradition of poet-prophets exemplified by Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, and other great voices.

4-0 out of 5 stars On Szymborska
This is a splendid collection of verse.Szymborska's work is insightful and remarkably deep.This collection has a Forward written by Czeslaw Milosz, who comments that "Szymborska offers a world where one can breathe...."

Miracle Fair begins with "Commemoration" and "Openness," which attempt to situate mortal beings in a natural world full of splendor, mystery, and awesome wonder.This is a lovely collection, which includes "A Dream," "Cat in an Empty Apartment," and "Love At First Sight."There are other moving and poignant poems here, such as "Starvation Camp at Jaslo," and "Turn of the Century."

S's verse is very human in the sense that it reminds us of the smallness of daily existence and the saving grace that can be found in the 'whispering trees.'It also has a vision of historical integration, whereby the ghosts of unfortunate memories speak to us softly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful poems on important things
PolishNobel winner Wislawa Szymborska was born in 1923. She's lived through a lot, and she has a highly developed social conscience. She is concerned about ordinary life, love, war, death, and meaning. In poem after beautifully translated poem, she shows her understanding of the things of this world, the mysteriousness of life, and the things that might matter the most.

I reread these poems after the events of September 11th and was astonished to findso much of use to me in thinking about the unthinkable, really.In "A Thank-You Note," she writes "I owe a lot/to those I do not love." In the incredible "Cat in an Empty Apartment" Szymborska takes a cat's point of view, noting "Something here isn't starting/at its usual time./Somethinghere isn't happening as it should./Somebody had been here and had been,/ and then had stubbornly disappeared/and now is stubbornly absent."

Szymborska knows that there are not only unimaginable horrors in the world, but also"miracles," small truths that are awesome and often wonderful- not because of any religious or magical event, but because they remind us, once again, of our humanity and of what good things might be possible. She treasures ordinary life,love, physicality - and communion. Her poems on love (and lovers) are beautiful, and beautifully simple.

She cautions against war in "The End and the Beginning," reminding the reader that "After every war/someone has to clean up./Things won't/straighten themselves up, after all." She wryly and trenchantly describes war's motives in "Hatred."Hatred, she insists, "is not like other feelings," and "gives birth to causes/which rouse it to life."

Szymborska's vision is one worth taking in, reflecting upon, and learning from. Current events aside, Szymborska's a terrific teacher of poetry.

This is a wonderful collection of poems. ... Read more

5. Sounds, Feelings, Thoughts
by Wislawa Szymborska
Paperback: 261 Pages (1981-08-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.50
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Asin: 0691013802
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Translated and Introduced by Magnus J. Krynski and Robert A. Maguire Regarded as one of the best representatives since World War II of the rich and ancient art of poetry in Poland, Wislawa Szymborska (b. 1923) is, in the translators' words, "that rarest of phenomena: a serious poet who commands a large audience in her native land." The seventy poems in this bilingual edition are among the largest and most representative offering of her work in English, with particular emphasis on the period since 1967. They illustrate virtually all her major themes and most of her important techniques.

Describing Szymborka's poetry, Magnus Krynski and Robert Maguire write that her verse is marked by high seriousness, delightful inventiveness, a prodigal imagination, and enormous technical skill. She writes of the diversity, plenitude, and richness of the world, taking delight in observing and naming its phenomena. She looks on with wonder, astonishment, and amusement, but almost never with despair. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Book of Poetry!
I like the fact that this book includes the English and Polish poems. Of all the genres in literature, poetry must be the hardest to translate and poetry is not the easiest to translate without getting lost in translation. Also, Polish is a very difficult language to read, write, and even speak and I would know because I grew up in a Polish-speaking household. Anyway, poetry is most effective in it's native tongue. I hope there is an audio recording of her speaking poetry. Of all the Nobel prizewinners in Literature, Wislawa is the most humble, as if embarrassed by receiving such an honor. We know little about her. We know she still lives in a 3 room flat in Cracow where she has lived most of her life. She might be a widow which means a husband but no children. She worked as a publisher, editor, poet, and columnist for the Polish press still Wislawa mezmerizes us with her poetry and we would like to know more about her.

5-0 out of 5 stars A deserving Nobelist
Polish poetry is among the richest in the world, but a formidable linguistic and cultural barrier prevents it from being better known abroad. Szymborska, along with her compatriot Zbigniew Herbert, crosses that barrier rather successfully. One of her advantages is that her poetry (like Herbert's) is based more on the play of ideas than that of words or sounds. Polish poets tend to be less word-drunk than their Russian counterparts, perhaps due to the differing qualities of their respective languages, and Szymborska is one of the most sober of all in this regard. Her work is unpretentious, free of unnecessary adornment, and invariably thoughtful. Language is her assistant, rather than a selfish entity which always wants to be the center of attention.

The translations adhere closely to the originals and make it easy to follow the flow of ideas. The originals are printed on the facing page (something I think should be standard practice with ALL translations of poetry). The Swedish Academy--which has a record of spurning hacks like Joyce, Ibsen, and Tolstoy in favor of such geniuses as Karlfeldt, Gjellerup, and Spitteler--was wise to give the Nobel to Szymborska. If you like her work, you'll probably enjoy that of her compatriots Milosz, Herbert, Norwid, Mickiewicz, Kochanowski, and others too numerous to name here.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best translation by far
Of all the compilations, I prefer this one as it gives you both theoriginal Polish as well as the translated English.So if you are feelingambitious, you can take a stab at the Polish.This is the best translationof her work by far -- it retains the lyrical intent of the author withoutbeing too literal.The poetry dances off your toungue and into your mind. If you read another version, you are missing out!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent poetry, in superior translation
Wislawa Szymborska writes with the wit and freshness of the American beat poets, layered with the sence of history and emotional depth that can only come from living through the last seventy years of turmoil in Europe.She has a very musical style. She begins by building descriptive lines, then rises to a staccato rediscovery of her subject, then resloving each poem with a kind of rational passion that is rare in even the most accomplished poets. This book has the added advantage of being the only one of her books that has been translated by people who not only know both tongues, but who understand language, meter, lyric and nuance.More poems are offered inView with a Grain of Sand, but not with the level of quality of translation. Highly recommened for those who do not want sentimentality, endless rhyming and dull subject matter.Szymborska is deserving off all of the attention she is finally receiving, and more. ... Read more

6. People on a Bridge: Poems
by Wislawa Szymborska, Adam Czerniawski
Paperback: 112 Pages (1990-04)
list price: US$17.95
Isbn: 0948259701
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not Lost in Translation
Wislawa Szymborska was barely known to the rest of the world until 1996 when it was announced that she was bestowed the Nobel Prize for Literature by the Swedish Academy. Anyway, Wislawa's poetry is quite charming. It's not difficult to read. In fact, it's easy to read and she makes poetry look too easy to write. Poetry is the hardest of all genres in literature. I am a writer who does not care too much for poetry because it's not my cup of tea but she wins me over with her style. She makes it easy to read but I bet it's not easy. Her poetry is about quality and not quantity. Sure there are other poets who deserved the Nobel Prize for literature but Wislawa was a surprise and a delightful one. It hasn't changed her a bit. She still lives in the same 3 room flat in Cracow where she has lived most of her life. We don't even have an autobiography or biography about her. Even now, she has maintained her privacy and rarely ventures into the spotlight. As an aspiring writer myself, I hope I can maintain the same humbleness as Wislawa. She is my heroine of literature. I was lucky to get this book when it came out after Wislawa's honor. I am surprised that it is no longer readily available. Even with translation, the meaning of her poetry is not lost on us especially with people on a bridge.
... Read more

7. Nonrequired Reading: Prose Pieces
by Wislawa Szymborska
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2002-10-28)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$9.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0151006601
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Wislawa Szymborska's poems are admired around the world, and her unsparing vision, tireless wit, and deep sense of humanity are cherished by countless readers. Unknown to most of them, however, Szymborska also worked for several decades as a columnist, reviewing a wide variety of books under the unassuming title "Nonrequired Reading."
As readers of her poems would expect, the short prose pieces collected here are anything but ordinary. Reflecting the author's own eclectic tastes and interests, the pretexts for these ruminations range from books on wallpapering, cooking, gardening, and yoga, to more lofty volumes on opera and world literature. Unpretentious yet incisive, these charming pieces are on a par with Szymborska's finest lyrics, tackling the same large and small questions with a wonderful curiosity.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Enough for this fan!
I love Wislawa Szymborska. Although I am not a fan of poetry in general, I began reading this book of her thoughts and feelings and criticisms which are never vicious, cruel, or even negative. She finds something positive about everytyhing from Ella Fitzgerald to Alfred Hitchcock and many other subjects about books. I think there is a fascination with this woman because she is a NObel Prize winner for literature in 1996 and from Poland. She is the first Polish woman to receive such an honor. She is quite humble about such honors. We know little about her life. We know she has a sister. She might be a widow and she has no children. She is a smoker and lives in a three room flat in Cracow where she has lived since her family moved there. Wislawa has now popularity because of her top honors for her services to literature. I would love to read a biography or autobiography about her. I loved her story about her relationship with another Polish Nobel prizewinner and fellow poet, Czeslaw Milosz. As long as there are writers like Wislawa around, we can be sure that she is not done yet.

5-0 out of 5 stars required reading
I love the sweep. Szymborska can make any topic fascinating. She finds deep and homey lessons in a broad range of topics. And of course, she's a real writer.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Box of Chocolates
This is a book of prose essays by the 1996 Nobel Prize winning author Wislawa Szymborska. They were from her newspaper column of 30+ years ago, "Nonrequired Reading".They are the musings on everyday books and subjects.

It is a wide ranging and eclectic collection.There will be one essay on a touching Korean fable.Then, the next will be on how to make a reptile aquarium.Many of these essays were book reviews.However,they are more her thoughts on the subjects than reviews.

When I say this book is like a "box of chocolates" it is in the Gumpian sense of the word.You never know what you're going to get and it will be interesting no matter what the topic.The aforementioned reptile aquarium piece was not only interesting but, philosophical as well.

That the book was from a translation was not a problem.Ms. Cavanaugh, the tranlator, was the winner of the PEN Translator prize.Reading this, it seems to have travelled without a problem.

For those buying this book: please read it!Do not put it on your coffee table to show off your erudition of having a Nobel Prize winning author's book so prominently on display.There is too much enjoyment to be had by reading this book.

The essays are from one page to a page and a half in length.Hopefully, there will be more essays to come in the future. ... Read more

8. Monologue of a Dog
by Wislawa Szymborska
Hardcover: 112 Pages (2005-11-07)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$2.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0151012202
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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From a writer whom Charles Simic calls "one of the finest poets living" comes a collection of witty, compassionate, contemplative, and always surprising poems. Szymborska writes with verve about everything from love unremembered to keys mislaid in the grass. The poems will appear, for the first time, side by side with the Polish originals, in a book to delight new and old readers alike.

a bumptious, stuck-up word.
It should be written in quotes.
It pretends to miss nothing,
to gather, hold, contain, and have.
While all the while it's just
a shred of a gale.

(20051101) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars polish and english translation
This is a set of selected poems by Wieslawa Szymborska.It is a perfect gift for an English speaking person, who likes to read poetry and/or is learning Polish.I'm Polish and I like reading both Polish and English versions.I like the arrangement of this book, each line is translated on the corresponding line on the following page.

5-0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Poet
Yet another collection to make me sorry I will never write this well.
But still glad that someone does!

5-0 out of 5 stars A contemplative poetry collection
Featuring both the original Polish text and a full English translation, Monologue Of A Dog is a contemplative poetry collection musing about elements as diverse as unremembered love, mislaid keys in the grass, the district firemen's ball, and the wonders of the cosmos. Author Wislawa Szymborska, who earned the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996, offers poignantly insightful lyrics that cut straight to the emotional quick of the reader. A Memory: We were chatting / and suddenly stopped short. / A lovely girl stepped onto the terrace, / so lovely, / too lovely / for us to enjoy our trip. // Basia shot her husband a stricken look. / Krystyna took Zbyszek's hand / reflexively. / I thought: I'll call you, / tell you, don't come just yet, / they're predicting rain for days. // Only Agnieszka, a widow, / met the lovely girl with a smile.
... Read more

9. Wislawa Szymborska: A Stockholm Conference, May 23-34, 2003 (Konferenser)
Paperback: 217 Pages (2006-09-30)
list price: US$82.50 -- used & new: US$82.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 917402356X
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10. Poems, New and Collected (1957-97) (Faber poetry)
by Wislawa Szymborska
Paperback: 320 Pages (1999-04-19)
list price: US$23.67
Isbn: 0571196683
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Product Description
A collection of poems which includes the text of "View With a Grain of Sand" and 64 additional translations, as well as the author's Nobel Prize acceptance speech. ... Read more

11. View with a Grain of Sand
by Wislawa Szymborska
Paperback: 224 Pages (1996-10-23)
list price: US$18.60 -- used & new: US$10.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0571191630
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This collection of Szymborska's work reveals her to be concerned with the unglamorized actualities of the human condition. She is one of a generation of Polish poets which witnessed the years of Soviet oppression and spoke for the feelings of the Polish people. ... Read more

12. Liebesgedichte
by Wislawa Szymborska
Paperback: 138 Pages (2005-05-31)

Isbn: 3458348115
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13. Auf Wiedersehen. Bis morgen.
by Wislawa Szymborska, Karl Dedecius
Paperback: 80 Pages (1998-05-01)
-- used & new: US$6.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3518393588
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14. Koniec i poczatek (Biblioteka Poetycka Wydawnictwa a5) (Polish Edition)
by Wislawa Szymborska
 Unknown Binding: 41 Pages (1996)

Isbn: 8385568034
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Well done!
First of all, how nice to find such an obscure publication in Polish in the US, thanks for that.
The book was sent from the US to The Netherlands in about 10 days, whereas first shipping conditions mentioned 4 weeks.
Price was indicated including shipping and administration fee, quite pricy but okay, from the US to The Netherlands, what can you expect?
Next day shipping and administration fee were downgraded, very neat indeed.
Book arrived in about 11 days in very good condition, I am really a satisfied customer.

Kind regards, Ria ... Read more

15. Hundert Freuden.
by Wislawa Szymborska, Karl Dedecius
Paperback: 240 Pages (1996-03-01)
-- used & new: US$10.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3518390899
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16. Poczta literacka, czyli, Jak zostac (lub nie zostac) pisarzem (Polish Edition)
by Wislawa Szymborska
 Unknown Binding: 143 Pages (2000)
-- used & new: US$26.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 8308030777
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17. Chwila
by Wislawa Szymborska
Hardcover: 44 Pages (2002-01)

Isbn: 8324002278
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18. Augenblick / Chwila
by Wislawa Szymborska
Hardcover: 111 Pages (2005-07-31)

Isbn: 3518223968
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19. Widok z ziarnkiem piasku: 102 wiersze (Biblioteka Poetycka Wydawnictwa a5) (Polish Edition)
by Wislawa Szymborska
 Hardcover: Pages (1996)

Isbn: 838556828X
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20. Szymborska: Szkice (Polish Edition)
 Unknown Binding: 103 Pages (1996)

Isbn: 8385254447
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