The Daily

In Memoriam

Wisława Szymborska

February 6, 2012 | by

Last week Wisława Szymborska died in Kraków at the age of eighty-eight. Szymborska received the Nobel Prize in 1996 and was Poland’s best-loved living poet. Her poem “Negative” appeared in issue 144 of The Paris Review, translated by Joanna Trzeciak:

In the dun-colored sky
A cloud even more dun-colored
With the black outline of the sun.

To the left, that is, to the right
A white cherry branch with black flowers.

On your dark face, light shadows.
You have sat down at a small table
And laid your grayed hands on it.

You give the impression of a ghost
Who attempts to summon the living.

(Because I'm still counted among them,
I should appear and knock:
Good night, that is, good morning,
Farewell, that is, hello.
Not being stingy with questions to any answer
If they concern life,
That is, the storm before the calm.)



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  1. Evan | February 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Yes please!

  2. swan_princess | February 7, 2012 at 4:42 am

    Rest In Peace. She died while my poetry class was writing a paper on her poem ‘Theatre Impressions’.

  3. Thomas L. Vaultonburg | February 13, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    A poet who had an enormous influence upon me. Her work is a treasure for all future generations. My tribute

  4. Glass tiles | May 8, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Thanks so much to both of you.

  5. glass tile | December 25, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Its bad news, little info about her. Szymborska was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature “for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality”.

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