Wislawa Szymborska, 1923-2012

Polish poet and Nobel laureate Wislawa Szymborska passed away last week, on Monday, February 1, at the age of 88. The Poetry Foundation has a brief obituary and one of her poems here. Rest in peace.

I spent several months last year reading a few of her poems in multiple translations (many of which I found through this aggregation assembled by the University of Buffalo), particularly “Brueghel’s Two Monkeys.” Her poems are carefully observed, ironic, sometimes cuttingly so, yet without the least trace of cruelty or bitterness: it is clear that she always wrote from a place of sorrow and love.

– E

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