Here

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Overview

These twenty-seven poems consider life on earth, from the microbe to the apocalypse. Along the way they take in, among other objects of study, the human teenager, divorce, Ella Fitzgerald, Vermeer’s Milkmaid, dreams, traffic accidents, Greek statues, television miniseries, the vagaries of memory, Madame Atropos, and even poetry writing. A book to treasure, from a virtuoso of form, line, and thought.

PRAISE FOR WISLAWA SZYMBORSKA

“Accessible and deeply human . . . A poet to live ...

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Here

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Overview

These twenty-seven poems consider life on earth, from the microbe to the apocalypse. Along the way they take in, among other objects of study, the human teenager, divorce, Ella Fitzgerald, Vermeer’s Milkmaid, dreams, traffic accidents, Greek statues, television miniseries, the vagaries of memory, Madame Atropos, and even poetry writing. A book to treasure, from a virtuoso of form, line, and thought.

PRAISE FOR WISLAWA SZYMBORSKA

“Accessible and deeply human . . . A poet to live with.” —Robert Hass

“She teaches us how the world defies and evades the names we give it.” —Edward Hirsch

“A subtle, even a subversive muse of vulnerability and a great European poet.” —Richard Howard

"Satisfying and original . . . Extremely smart, witty, and levelheaded, [Szymborska] seduces us with her wide range of interests, her atypical lack of narcissism for a poet, and her cheerful pessimism." —Charles Simic

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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

"There is an easy charm to Szymborska's small but expansive poems." -Los Angeles Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547592091
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/7/2012
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 596,452
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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 and Poland's highest honor, the Order of the White Eagle, in 2011.

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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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Table of Contents

Here 3

Thoughts That Visit Me on Busy Streets 7

An Idea 11

Teenager 15

Hard Life with Memory 19

Microcosmos 23

Foraminifera 27

Before a Journey 29

Divorce 31

Assassins 33

Exmaple 35

Identification 37

Nonreading 39

Portrait from Memory 41

Dreams 45

In a Mail Coach 49

Ella in Heaven 53

Vermeer 55

Metaphysics 57

Absence 59

Highway Accident 63

The Day After---Without Us 65

An Occurrence 67

An Interview with Atropos 71

Greek Statue 77

Labyrinth 79

In Fact Every Poem 83

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2011

    I'm going to buy anyway, but NOT FAIR!

    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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 10, 2010

    Szymborska wows us time and again!

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2012

    V

    Go to: ocean, second result

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    Firepaw

    Firepaw- I gtg can we do it tomorrow? And plz dont go without me...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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