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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547542249
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 02/24/2015
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 112
File size: 485 KB

About the Author

WISLAWA SZYMBORSKA (1923–2012) was born in Poland and worked as a poetry editor, translator, and columnist. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1996.

CLARE CAVANAGH, professor of Slavic and comparative literature at Northwestern, has received a PEN Translation Award for her work, with Stanislaw Baranczak, on Szymborska's poetry.

STANSILAW BARANCZAK, born in Poland in 1946, was a poet, literary critic, scholar, editor, translator and lecturer. He received numerous honors and awards, including a Guggenheim Felllowship, and translated many seminal works—including the work of William Shakespeare, E.E. Cummings, and Emily Dickinson—from English into Polish.

Read an Excerpt

Monologue of a Dog Ensnared
in History
There are dogs and dogs. I was among the chosen.
I had good papers and wolf's blood in my veins.
I lived upon the heights inhaling the odors of views:
meadows in sunlight, spruces after rain,
and clumps of earth beneath the snow.

I had a decent home and people on call,
I was fed, washed, groomed,
and taken for lovely strolls.
Respectfully, though, and comme il faut.
They all knew full well whose dog I was.

Any lousy mutt can have a master.
Take care, though-beware comparisons.
My master was a breed apart.
He had a splendid herd that trailed his every step
and fixed its eyes on him in fearful awe.

Monolog psa zaplatanego
w dzieje
Sa psy i psy. Ja bylem psem wybranym.
Mialem dobre papiery i w zylach krew wilcza.
Mieszkalem na wyzynie wdychajac wonie widoków
na laki w sloncu, na swierki po deszczu
i grudy ziemi spod sniegu.

Mialem porzadny dom i ludzi na uslugi
bylem zywiony, myty, szczotkowany,
wyprowadzany na piekne spacery.
Jednak z szacunkiem, bez poufalosci.
Kazdy dobrze pamietal, czyim jestem psem.

Byle parszywy kundel potrafi miec pana.
Ale uwaga-wara od porównan.
Mój pan byl panem jedynym w swoim rodzaju.
Mial okazale stado chodzace za nim krok w krok
i zapatrzone w niego z lekliwym podziwem.

Copyright © by Wislawa Szymborska, 2002
Translation copyright © 2006 by Harcourt, Inc.
Foreword © 2006 by Billy Collins

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced
or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,
including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval
system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be
mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc.,
6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

Table of Contents


Monolog psa zaplatanego w dzieje 2
Monologue of a Dog Ensnared in History 3

Chwila 10
Moment 11

W zatrzesieniu 14
Among the Multitudes 15

Chmury 20
Clouds 21

Negatyw 24
Negative 25

Sluchawka 26
Receiver 27

Trzy slowa najdziwniejsze 28
The Three Oddest Words 29

Milczenie roslin 30
The Silence of Plants 31

Platon, czyli dlaczego 34
Plato, or Why 35

Mala dziewczynka sciaga obrus 38
A Little Girl Tugs at the Tablecloth 39

Ze wspomnien 42
A Memory 43

Kaluza 44
Puddles 45

Pierwsza milosc 46
First Love 47

Troche o duszy 48
A Few Words on the Soul 49

Wczesna godzina 54
Early Hour 55

W parku 58
In the Park 59

Przyczynek do statystyki 60
A Contribution to Statistics 61

Jacys ludzie 64
Some People 65

Fotografia z 11 wrzesnia 68
Photograph from September 11 69

Bagaz powrotny 70
Return Baggage 71

Bal 74
The Ball 75

Notatka 78
A Note 79

Spis 82
List 83

Wszystko 88
Everything 89

Uprzejmosc niewidomych 90
The Courtesy of the Blind 91

ABC 94
ABC 95

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