We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom..

Life &Poetry | 27 Mar 2015


In Memory of Wisława Szymborska


Wisława Szymborska created her own craft of writing and her own language that keeps distance from great historical events, the biological conditioning of human existence, the social role of the poet, and also from philosophical systems, ideologies, truths taken on faith, habits, stereotypes and inhibitions. Hers is a language of compassion for those who have been wronged, yet it is also an expression of delight at the beauty of human life with its keen beauty, illogicality and tragedy.

It is a language of well-considered judgments and muffled emotions, a language of lyricism controlled by a cold, fresh intellect, a language subjected to intellectual rigor that does not rule out sensitivity to the everyday attractions of existence.

It is a language that generally remains faithful to colloquial speech while subtly widening its lexical resources. It is a language of paradox, apparently simple, but nonetheless refined and full of layered metaphors.

Szymborska even wrote her own Epitaph not very long ago, a very contemporary vision of the attainment of peace in a digital world.

Here lies, old fashioned as parentheses,
the authoress of verse. Eternal rest
was granted her by earth, although the corpse
had failed to join the avant-garde, of course.
The plain grave? There’s poetic justice in it,
this ditty-dirge, the owl, the meek cornflower
Passerby, take your PC out, press “POWER,”
think on Szymborska’s fate for half a minute”

(Translated by Baranczak and Cavanaugh).

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