So how do you suddenly lose the habit of yourself? of day follows night? of the snows of yesteryear? of rosy apples? of the yearning for love, which is never enough? — Wislawa Szymborska, from “Moment of Silence”, Map: Collected and Last Poems. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1st edition, April 7, 2015)
Under a Certain Little Star My apologies to chance for calling it necessity. My apologies to necessity in case I’m mistaken. May happiness not be angry if I take it for my own. May the dead forgive me that their memory’s but a flicker. My apologies to time for the multiplicity of the world overlooked… Continue reading Wislawa Szymborska
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.