Here, by Wislawa Szymborska

Not sure how I learned about this one, as poetry books are not my main fare. Anyhoooo, I did order it and read it aloud to my wife at night (she is disabled from a stroke over a decade ago). Skipped the longest ones but read most of them. The English translations, no matter how brilliant and true to the Polish original sense, are different. Both languages are shown on adjacent pages and from my perspective, Polish certainly must have NO roots in any way to the origins of Germanic-based English at all, at least to look at the corresponding words and spelling.

All in all, Ms. Szymborska is one very intelligent woman, and thinks in large boundaries. But try as I did, only a few really clicked to me, as I read them aloud and slowly. Perhaps my old-fashioned perspective that "poetry" needs to have some sense of rhyming is a bias, but at any rate I gave it the ol' college try.

Jim George
Austin, TX 

2 Responses

  1. JK James George
    From Anon-1: One of Symborska's lines that really sticks with me is: "When I say the word "future", the first syllable is already in the past."
  2. JK James George
    From Anon-2: Polish, being a completely Slavic language, indeed has no points in common with English, German, French, or Norwegian. Yep, nothing much in that work rhymes. It’s more like blank verse and essentially creates images. Reading that book or similar books may be for some an exercise like being forced to look at a small corner of a Monet painting for hours on end.

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