Wislawa Szymborska Poems

Wisława Szymborską was a Polish poet, translator, and the winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature. Her poetry is incredibly popular in her native Poland due to its wide appeal and clever use of irony. Many of her poems are noted for their description of war and philosophical themes. 

The Three Oddest Words

by Wislawa Szymborska

‘The Three Oddest Words’ is a poem that addresses peculiarities of language in ways that reflect the peculiarities themselves.

Wislawa Szymborska was a Nobel Prize-winning Polish poet known for her philosophical and introspective works. This is a great example of her style of poetry. Her poetry, like this poem, often reflects on the human experience, focusing on the small, everyday moments that make up life, in this case, language. Her writing is marked by a unique blend of wit, irony, and humor, which she uses to explore complex themes.

When I pronounce the word Future,

the first syllable already belongs to the past.

A Contribution to Statistics

by Wislawa Szymborska

‘A Contribution to Statistics’ by Wislawa Szymborska provides a statistical yet poignant snapshot of human behavior, attitudes, and emotional states.

Szymborska often tackles philosophical and existential questions with a blend of irony and emotional depth. In 'A Contribution to Statistics,' she employs a statistical framework to explore a wide range of human characteristics. Her analytical approach, combined with sporadic personal reflections, epitomizes her style of engaging with deep subjects in an intellectually stimulating yet emotionally resonant manner.

Out of a hundred people

those who always know better

-- fifty-two

The End and the Beginning

by Wislawa Szymborska

Szymborska contemplates the aftermath of war, urging resilience and reflection amidst destruction, evoking emotions of melancholy and hope.

This poem is a good representation of Wislawa Szymborska's poems. Her works often explore profound philosophical themes, human nature, and the complexities of life. This poem, like many others by Szymborska, uses concise language, vivid imagery, and contemplative tone to delve into profound subjects such as war, memory, and resilience. It showcases her ability to capture the essence of human experiences and emotions in a thought-provoking and evocative manner, making it a representative example of her poetic style and themes.

After every war

someone has to clean up.

Things won’t

straighten themselves up, after all.


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