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Poems: New and Collected, 1957-1997 [Hardcover]

Wislawa Szymborska
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 1998
Here is the definitive collection of Wislawa Szymborska's poetry in English. It includes the one hundred poems of her phenomenally popular View with a Grain of Sand, along with sixty-four additional poems newly translated for this volume. Szymborska's Nobel Prize acceptance address is also included.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Brace International (1 Oct 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 015100353X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151003532
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16.1 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,603,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "non-reader's" review! 12 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my 8yr old daughter who is in "team Szymborska" at school - her teacher is well into his loreats! I wondered what/who Szymborska was as my daughter didn't know. Having found out who she is I decided to buy her book. I don't read books but I have read a few of her poems and think she's excellent. Very easy to read. I've tried to think how I can explain her work - it's very earthy, very real, very human. Here are just 2 verses of her poem called "hatred", which I think is brilliant and so true.

Look, how spry she still is,
how well she holds up:
hatred, in our century.
How lithely she takes high hurdles.
How easy for her to pounce, to seize.

She is not like the other feelings.
At once older and younger than they.
She alone gives birth to causes
which rouse her to life.
If she sleeps, it's never for eternity.
Insomnia doesn't take away but gives her strength.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good 6 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I can't understand what miracle seems to have occurred in the poems sounding so convincing in English!!

This volume will definitely be my companion while I am alone. 'Into the Ark' is a fantastic poem.

I am disappointed that another reviewer has chosen to pick out the poem on Hatred. I think it needs to be seen in the context of other poems, such as 'The Century's Decline' where she says:

'A couple of problems weren't going
to come up anymore:
hunger, for example,
and war, and so forth.'

and 'Happiness and spring, among other things,
were supposed to be getting closer'.......
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth of recommendation 23 July 2010
Purely beautiful poems, written in a very gentle and imaginative way. I was taken aback by the easiness of discribing feelings and atmosphere by Madam Szymborska. I must admit though that reading her poems in original is nothing in compare with even the best translation. Only the cover could have a slightly better design but as a folk wisdom says: never judge the book by the cover!
I highly recommend this collection of poems!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  36 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, even in translation 12 Feb 2001
By Cort Mcmurray - Published on Amazon.com
The worst thing my Polish grandparents did was discourage their children from speaking Polish. Now, two generations removed from the language, I can only wonder at what Ms. Szymborska's astonishing work sounds like in her native tounge. The translators have done an admirable job of establishing a gentle sense of humor, a strong and steady voice in the English versions of these poems, which makes me long all the more to be able to read them in their original Polish.
Ms. Szymborska has that wonderful eastern European ability to show us that everything matters -- our words, our thoughts, our ancestors, our own mortality make us who we are, and who we are exists in an eternal Now. "Life, however long, is always short," she writes, "too short for anything to be added."
Perhaps the most moving of these works is "In Broad Daylight," a fantastic portrait of the poet Krzysztof Baczynski, killed at age 23 during the Warsaw Uprising, as an old man, vacationing in the mountains, sipping soup, readng the paper. Ms. Szymborska shows us how these simple acts, what she calls elsewhere "commonplace miracles," are precious. We who live have an obligation to see the miracle in our very exisitence, to savor and to succor life.
Szymborska deserves to be widely read. This volume is highly recommended.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best translators of Szymborska, ever. 4 July 2001
By Bradley C. Jenkins - Published on Amazon.com
Szymborska has long been a favorite of mine. I have compared many different English translations of her poetry. The translators of this volume are by far the best. They make Szymborksa's poetry flow effortlessly, seamlessly. This is a a rare and wonderful poetry book.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars clear 10 April 2003
By I X Key - Published on Amazon.com
Each of these poems is totally exactly within its own language. Szymborska is a very clear-cut poet -- straightforward, simple. Her quiet humor is exemplified in the beginning of her Nobel acceotance speech. "They say that the first sentence of any speech is always the hardest. Well, that one's behind me." After that, for the rest of this book, her poems are very concise & wonderfully thoughtful. Lucid. This is welcoming poetry.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle, brilliant, ironic. 13 Mar 1998
By s0152920@monmouth.edu - Published on Amazon.com
Szymborska's poetry is simple and brilliant. Even in translation the language is eloquent and subtle. This Polish poet has seen many years and gently shares with us a wisdom that only time can bring. Her insights into human nature are at once piercing and tender. Her images dance and whirl before us: this is truly a living poetry. Szymborska seems to have sat in the corner of endless crowded and uncrowded rooms and she shares with us the intricacy of over 70 years of situations. A must for those who love poetry, and a volume to make those love poetry that have never kissed its lips before.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best poet 20 Mar 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Wistawa Szymborska is a very intelligent poet. Her work is one of the best that I have ever read on. One of her poems is called, "The End and the Beginning." The part that touched me the most was stanza two; "someone has to shove the rubble to the roadsides so the carts loaded with corpses can get by." This little stanza holds so much feeling and information it can be overwhelming. Her poems are powerful in a way that she makes you feel like you are right there with her as she is writing this poem. She puts so much of herself into these poems and this is what makes them so wonderful to read. So I would like to think her for writing such wonderful poems for others to read.
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