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.
I love Wislawa's wit, style and above all her understanding of the human condition. She elicits a range of emotions , in this reader at least. "Under One Small Star", with lines such as "My apologies to time for all the world I overlook each second" and her use of theatre imagery in "Life-While-You-Wait" - "Oh no, there's no question, this must be the premiere./And whatever I do/will become forever what I've done" touch our innermost longings.
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!