Friday, December 09, 2022 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Wislawa Szymborska (1923 – 2012)

Polish poet, essayist and translator.
Wislawa Szymborska
Those who knew
what this was all about
must make way for those
who know little.
And less than that.
And at last nothing less than nothing.
Szymborska quotes
Any knowledge that doesn't lead to new questions quickly dies out: it fails to maintain the temperature required for sustaining life.
They say the first sentence in any speech is always the hardest. Well, that one's behind me, anyway.

Szymborska Wislawa quotes
I am too close for him to dream of me.
I don't flutter over him, don't flee him
beneath the roots of trees. I am too close.
The caught fish doesn't sing with my voice.
The ring doesn't roll from my finger.
I am too close.
Szymborska Wislawa
So he was born, too.
Born like everyone else.
Like me, who will die.
The son of an actual woman.
A new arrival from the body's depths.
A voyager to Omega.
Wislawa Szymborska quotes
I knock at the stone's front door.
"It's only me, let me come in."
Wislawa Szymborska
The window has a wonderful view of a lake,
but the view doesn't view itself.
It exists in this world
colorless, shapeless,
soundless, odorless, and painless.
Szymborska Wislawa quotes
For the sake of research,
the big picture
and definitive conclusions,
one would have to transcend time,
in which everything scurries and whirls.
Secret codes resound.
Doubts and intentions come to light.
Szymborska Wislawa
In Heraclitus' river
a fish has imagined the fish of all fish,
a fish kneels to the fish, a fish sings to the fish,
a fish begs the fish to ease its fishy lot.
Wislawa Szymborska
He's no end of fun, for all you say.
Poor little beggar.
A human, if ever we saw one.

Wislawa Szymborska quotes
Yes, the memory still moves her.
Yes, just a little tired now. Yes, it will pass.
You may get up. Thank her. Say good-bye. Leave,
passing by the new arrivals in the hall.
Wislawa Szymborska
Millennia have passed
since you first called me archaeology.
I no longer require
your stone gods, your ruins with legible inscriptions.
Show me your whatever
and I'll tell you who you were.
Szymborska quotes
And who's this little fellow in his itty-bitty robe?
That's tiny baby Adolf, the Hitlers' little boy!
Szymborska Wislawa
My apologies to the felled tree for the table's four legs.
My apologies to great questions for small answers.
Szymborska Wislawa quotes
I am a tarsier and a tarsier's son,
the grandson and great-grandson of tarsiers,
a tiny creature, made up of two pupils
and whatever simply could not be left out...
Wislawa Szymborska
They aren't obliged to vanish when we're gone.
They don't have to be seen while sailing on.
Wislawa Szymborska quotes
I felt age within me. Distance.
The futility of wandering. Torpor.
I looked back setting my bundle down.
I looked back not knowing where to set my foot.
Serpents appeared on my path,
spiders, field mice, baby vultures.
They were neither good nor evil now every living thing
was simply creeping or hopping along in the mass panic.
Wislawa Szymborska
I lost a few goddesses while moving south to north
and also some gods while moving east to west.
Szymborska Wislawa
We're extremely fortunate
not to know precisely
the kind of world we live in.
One would have
to live a long, long time,
unquestionably longer
than the world itself.

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