Wislawa Szymborska

11 07 2005

Ready for another poet(ess) yet? Well, let me add another one of my favourites – Wislawa Szymborska. Another poet whose translated works I love. She is a polish poetess who gained much deserved recognition in the English speaking world, in the mid 90s, after winning the Nobel prize (for literature…in case anyone was confused =) ).

I was particularly impressed by the fact that she caught the Nobel committee’s attention without using any ‘major’ cause or high drama, as a crutch. Her poems tend to deal with the ‘mundane’ and ‘simple’ things. If I were to look for an analogy in Bollywood, her poems are more like the Farooque Sheikh films, as opposed to the Amitabh Bachan blockbusters. There is no high drama and larger than life images, but simple, elegant and touching potrayal of real life and issues people deal with.

Here is a wonderful poem called Funeral (find the poem at the very end of this link). Of course, it is copyrighted yada yada, so here are a small snippets.

From Funeral,

“so suddenly, who would’ve expected it”

“stress and cigarettes, I told him”

“unwrap these flowers”

“his brother’s heart did him in too, must run in the family”

“good-bye Ma’am”

“let’s go grab a beer somewhere”

“I’m going this way”

“we’re not”

If you enjoyed that, you must try her first poem that caught my attention, True Love. Addicted yet?! =) Then here, a link to a large collection of her poems.

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