I apologize to everything that I cannot be everywhere. I apologize to everyone that I cannot be every man and woman. I know that as long as I live nothing can justify me, because I myself am an obstacle to myself. Take it not amiss, O speech, that I borrow weighty words, and later try… Continue reading Wisława Szymborska
My distinguishing marks are wonder and despair. — Wisława Szymborska, from “The Sky,” People on a Bridge. (Forest Books; First Edition edition, April 1, 1990) Originally published 1986,
Dreams are featherweights, and memory can shake them off with ease. The real world doesn’t have to fear forgetfulness. It’s a tough customer. It sits on our shoulders, weights on our hearts, tumbles to our feet. There’s no escaping it, it tags along each time we flee. And there’s no stop along our escape route… Continue reading Wisława Szymborska
Everything the dead predicted has turned out completely different. Or a little bit different—which is to say, completely different. — Wisława Szymborska, from “The Letters of the Dead,” Wszelki wypadek. (1972)
Poetry– but what sort of thing is poetry? More than one shaky answer has been given to this question. But I do not know and do not know and clutch on to it, as to a saving bannister. — Wislawa Szymborska, from “Some Like Poetry,” The New Yorker: October 21, 1996 Issue.
Even a passing moment has its fertile past, its Friday before Saturday, its May before June. — Wisława Szymborska, from “No Title Required,” Poems New and Collected 1957-1997, trans. Stanisław Barańczak and Clare Cavanagh, (Harcourt Brace & Co., 1998)
Let the people who never find true love keep saying that there’s no such thing. Their faith will make it easier for them to live and die. — Wisława Szymborska, from “True Love,” View With a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems. (Harcourt Brace; 1st edition, May 26, 1995)