Here

Here

3.7 7
by Wislawa Szymborska
     
 

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An exciting collection of poems by Wislawa Szymborska. When Here was published in Poland, reviewers marveled, “How is it that she keeps getting better?” These twenty-seven poems, as rendered by prize-winning translators Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak, are among her greatest ever. Whether writing about her teenage self, microscopic

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Overview

An exciting collection of poems by Wislawa Szymborska. When Here was published in Poland, reviewers marveled, “How is it that she keeps getting better?” These twenty-seven poems, as rendered by prize-winning translators Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak, are among her greatest ever. Whether writing about her teenage self, microscopic creatures, or the upsides to living on Earth, she remains a virtuoso of form, line, and thought.

From the title poem:

I can’t speak for elsewhere,
but here on Earth we’ve got a fair supply of everything.
Here we manufacture chairs and sorrows,
scissors, tenderness, transistors, violins, teacups, dams, and quips . . .

Like nowhere else, or almost nowhere,
you’re given your own torso here,
equipped with the accessories required
for adding your own children to the rest.
Not to mention arms, legs, and astonished head.




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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"No reader, not even poetry-phobes, should miss the bright revelations of Nobel laureate Szymborska. [...] Syzmborska is sharply ironic and lithely philosophical, pondering the phenomenal precision of dreams and the elusiveness of meaning. The neat, prancing lyrics collected in this slender, piercing book are delectable and profound." —Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547504643
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
08/16/2013
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
1,236,583
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

Here
I can't speak for elsewhere,
but here on Earth we've got a fair supply of everything.
Here we manufacture chairs and sorrows,
scissors, tenderness, transistors, violins,
teacups, dams, and quips.

There may be more of everything elsewhere,
but for reasons left unspecified they lack paintings,
picture tubes, pierogies, handkerchiefs for tears.

Here we have countless places with vicinities.
You may take a liking to some,
give them pet names,
protect them from harm.

There may be comparable places elsewhere,
but no one thinks they're beautiful.

Like nowhere else, or almost nowhere,
you're given your own torso here,
equipped with the accessories required
for adding your own children to the rest.
Not to mention arms, legs, and astounded head.

Ignorance works overtime here,
something is always being counted, compared, measured,
from which roots and conclusions are then drawn.

I know, I know what you're thinking.
Nothing here can last,
since from and to time immemorial the elements hold sway.
But see, even the elements grow weary
and sometimes take extended breaks
before starting up again.

And I know what you're thinking next.
Wars, wars, wars.
But there are pauses in between them too.
Attention! — people are evil.
At ease — people are good.
At attention wastelands are created.
At ease houses are constructed in the sweat of brows,
and quickly inhabited.

Life on Earth is quite a bargain.
Dreams, for one, don't charge admission.
Illusions are costly only when lost.
The body has its own installment plan.

And as an extra, added feature,
you spin on the planets' carousel for free,
and with it you hitch a ride on the intergalactic blizzard,
with times so dizzying
that nothing here on Earth can even tremble.

Just take a closer look:
the table stands exactly where it stood,
the piece of paper still lies where it was spread,
through the open window comes a breath of air,
the walls reveal no terrifying cracks
through which nowhere might extinguish you.


 

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"No reader, not even poetry-phobes, should miss the bright revelations of Nobel laureate Szymborska. [...] Syzmborska is sharply ironic and lithely philosophical, pondering the phenomenal precision of dreams and the elusiveness of meaning. The neat, prancing lyrics collected in this slender, piercing book are delectable and profound." —Booklist

Meet the Author

WISLAWA SZYMBORSKA (1923–2012) was born in Poland and worked as a poetry editor, translator, and columnist. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1996.



CLARE CAVANAGH, professor of Slavic and comparative literature at Northwestern, has received a PEN Translation Award for her work, with Stanislaw Baranczak, on Szymborska's poetry.

 
STANSILAW BARANCZAK, born in Poland in 1946, was a poet, literary critic, scholar, editor, translator and lecturer. He received numerous honors and awards, including a Guggenheim Felllowship, and translated many seminal works—including the work of William Shakespeare, E.E. Cummings, and Emily Dickinson—from English into Polish.

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Here 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The sample doesn't even get through the Table of Contents! It would have been nice to be able to read at least a sample of one of her poems! I'm only rating three stars, because I've not been able to read anything and I am only barely familiar with her work.
CloserOcean More than 1 year ago
Szymborska views life through her own spectacles and creates juxtapositions that we wouldn't normally see. I guess that is what is so profound in her writings. This book is no exception. She takes us on a ride to places we wouldn't dream of going, and always brings us home safely. I am inspired by her words, by her tongue in cheek humor, by her pointing out the ridiculous in modern life. I am especially fond of the poem "Teenager," in which she addresses herself as a teen looking up at the rest of her life from her current perspective near the end of it. She is a treasure that everyone can enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The what now?