Wisława Szymborska

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  • fot. Ela Lempp

Born in Bnin (near Poznan) in 1923, throughout her life she was connected with Cracow, where she studied and where she lived and worked until her death in 2012. A poet and essayist, Wislawa Szymborska won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996. She became world famous thanks to translations published in English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Czech, Slovak, Swedish, Bulgarian, Albanian and Chinese.

Szymborska’s work represents a puzzling phenomenon: she electrifies her readers despite being modest, introverted, discreet and hushed. The simplicity of her poetry defies the theorizing of scholars while unerringly zeroing in on the tastes of contemporary readers. Szymborska reaches out to her readers over the heads of critics and without the help of the mass media. Her poetry collections sell in numbers usually associated with popular novels. What accounts for Szymborska's popularity and success? An individual style, an otherness and an exclusivity understood as a creative condition and an existential autonomy. Never associating herself with any poetical school, she has created her own craft of writing and her own language that maintains its distance from great historical events, the biological conditioning of human existence, the social role of the poet, and also from philosophical systems, ideologies, truths taken on faith, habits, stereotypes and inhibitions. It is also a language of compassion for those who have been wronged, of delight at the beauty of human life with its keen beauty, illogicality and tragedy. It is a language of well-considered judgements and muffled emotions, a language of lyricism controlled by a cold, fresh intellect, a language subjected to intellectual rigor that does not rule out sensitivity to the everyday attractions of existence. It is a language that generally remains faithful to colloquial speech while subtly widening its lexical resources. It is a language of paradox, apparently simple but in fact refined and idiosyncratic. Szymborska wrote sparingly; she is reckoned to have written no more than 250 poems. Perhaps this accounts for the fact that almost every one is a masterpiece. At least since the mid-1950s, Szymborska has held a place among the very finest Polish and European poets.

Bibliography

  • Dlatego żyjemy, Warszawa, 1952
  • Pytania zadawane sobie, Kraków: WL, 1954
  • Wołanie do Yeti, Kraków: WL,1957
  • Sól, Warszawa: PIW, 1962
  • Sto pociech, Warszawa: PIW, 1967
  • Wszelki wypadek, 1972
  • Wielka liczba, 1976
  • Ludzie na moście, Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1986
  • Początek i koniec, Poznań: a5, 1993
  • Widok z ziarnkiem piasku, Poznań: a5, 1996
  • Lektury nadobowiązkowe, Kraków: WL, 1992
  • Sto wierszy - sto pociech, Kraków: WL, 1997
  • Chwila, Kraków: Znak, 2002.
  • Nowe lektury nadobowiązkowe, Kraków: WL, 2002
  • Rymowanki dla dużych dzieci, Kraków: a5, 2003.
  • Wiersze wybrane, Kraków: a5, 2004
  • Dwukropek, Kraków: a5, 2005
  • Zmysł udziału, Kraków: WL, 2006.
  • Nic dwa razy. Nothing Twice [polsko-angielska edycja], Kraków: WL, 2007.
  • Miłość szczęśliwa, Kraków: a5, 2007
  • Tutaj, Kraków: Znak, 2009
  • Wiersze wybrane, Kraków: a5, 2010
  • Milczenie roślin, Kraków: Znak 2011
  • Wystarczy, Kraków: a5, 2012
  • Błysk rewolwru, Warszawa: Agora, 2013

Translations:

Albanian:

  • As fund as fillim [Ani koniec ani początek], trans. Mazllum Saneja, Pejë: Dukagjini, 1997
  • Poezi të zgjedhura [Wybór wierszy], trans. Oevqep Kambo, Tiranë: Toena, 1997

Belorussian:

  • Svet, varty, vjartannja, trans. Nina Macjaš, Mińsk: Mastackaja Litaratura, 1991
  • Hvìlâ [Chwila], trans. Nina Macjaš, Mińsk: Belaruskì Knìgazbor, 2005
  • Wybór wierszy, trans. Andrej Chadanowicz, Minsk: Lohvinau, 2014

Bulgarian:

  • Obmisljam sveta, trans. Blaga Dimitrova, Sofia: Narodna Kultura, 1989; Svobodno Poetičesko Obsestvo, 1998
  • Kraj i načalo, trans. Iskra Likomanova, Sofia: Literaturen Vestnik, 1997

Catalan:

  • Vista amb un gra de sorra [Widok z ziarnkiem piasku], trans. Josep M. de Sagarra, Barcelona: Columna, 1997

Chinese:

  • Huhuan xueren [Wołanie do Yeti; wybór wierszy i esejów], trans. Lin Hongliang, Guilin: Lijiang Chubanshe, 2000
  • Shiren yu shijie: shi wenxuan [Wybrane wiersze], trans. Zhang Zhenghui, Pekin: Zhongyang Bianfan Chubanshe, 2003

Czech:

  • V Hérakleitově řece, trans. Vlasta Dvořáčková, Praha: Odeon, 1985
  • Konec a počátek [Początek i koniec], trans. Vlasta Dvořáčková, Praha: Mladá Fronta, 1997
  • Okamžik. Dvojtečka. Tady [Chwila, Dwukropek, Tutaj], trans. Vlasta Dvořáčková, Pistorius & Olšanská 2009

Danish:

  • Lots hustru og andre kvinder, trans. Janina Katz i Inger Christensen, Kopenhaga: Brøndum, 1982
  • En kat i en tom lejlighed, trans. Janina Katz & Uffe Harder Aarhus: Husets Forlag, 1996

Dutch:

  • Het moment [Chwila], trans. Gerard Rasch, Amsterdam: Meulenhoff, 2006
  • Einde en begin, trans. Gerard Rasch, Amsterdam: Meulenhoff 2007
  • Dubbele punt [Dwukropek], trans. Karol Lesman, Breda: De Geus, 2007
  • Hier [Tutaj], trans. Karol Lesman, Breda: De Geus, 2009
  • Zo is het genoeg [Wystarczy], trans. Karol Lesman, Breda: De Geus, 2013

English:

  • View with a grain of sand [Widok z ziarnkiem piasku], trans. Clare Cavanagh, Stanisław Barańczak, New York, San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1995; London: Faber and Faber, 1996
  • People on a Bridge, trans. Adam Czerniawski, Londyn: Forest Books, 1990; II wyd. Londyn 1996
  • Poems New and Collected 1957-1997, trans. Clare Cavanagh i Stanisław Barańczak, Harcourt, 2000
  • Miracle Fair: Selected Poems, trans. Joanna Trzeciak, W. W. Norton, 2001
  • Nonrequired Reading: Prose Pieces, trans. Clare Cavanagh, Harcourt, 2002
  • Monologue of the Dog, trans. Clare Cavanagh i Stanisław Barańczak, Harcourt, 2005
  • Here [Tutaj], trans. Clare Cavanagh i Stanisław Barańczak, Harcourt, 2011

Estonian:

  • Oma aja lapsed, trans. Hendrik Lindepuu, Laiuse: Hendrik Lindepuu Kirjastus, 2008
  • Herakleitose joes [selected poems], trans. Hendrik Lindepuu, Tartu: Hendrik Lindepuu Kirjastus, 2012

Finnish:

  • Wiersze, "Parnasso"1/1997, 2/1998
  • Wiersze, "Tuli " Savu" 2/1998
  • Hetki, trans. Martti Puukko, Helsinki: Like, 2004
  • Jotkut pitävat runoudesta, trans. Jussi Rosti, Helsinki: Novalisa, 2008

French:

  • Dans le fleuve d’Héraclite. Anthologie Bilingue, trans. Christophe Jezewski, Isabelle Macor-Filarska, La maison de la poésie du Nord – Pas de Calais, 1995
  • Poèmes dans: Deux poétesses polonaises contemporaines: Ewa Lipska et Wisława Szymborska, trans. Isabelle Macor-Filarska, Mundolsheim: L’Ancrier Editeur, 1996
  • De la mort sans exagérer (O śmierci bez przesady), trans. Piotr Kaminski, Paris: Fayard, 1996
  • Je ne sais quelles gens, trans. Piotr Kaminski, Paris: Fayard, 1997
  • De la mort sans exagérer (O śmierci bez przesady, édition bilingue), Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1997

German:

  • antologie: Salz. Gedichte, Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp, 1973
  • Vokabeln. Gedichte, Berlin: Volk und Welt, 1979
  • Deshalb leben wir, Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp, 1980
  • Hundert Freuden [Sto pociech], Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp, 1986
  • Poesie 1940-1990, Frankfurt: Eichborn Verlag, 1991
  • Auf Wiedersehen. Bis Morgen. Gedichte, Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp, 1995
  • Die Gedichte, Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp, 1997

Hebrew:

  • Lektury nadobowiązkowe, trans. Rafi Weichert, Tel Aviv: Xargol, 2005
  • Chwila, trans. David Weinfeld, Carmelph 2011
  • Pamiątkowe rupiecie. Biografia Wisławy Szymborskiej, trans. Miri Paz, Tel Aviv: Carmel Publishining House, 2014
  • Poczta literacka, trans. Rafi Weichert, Tel Aviv: Xargol Books, 2014

Icelandic:

  • Utópia, Reykjavik: Fjölvi, 1996
  • Endir og upphaf, Reykjavík: Bjartur, 1999

Italian:

  • La fiera dei miracoli, trans. Pietro Marchesani, Milano: Libri Scheiwiller, 1993
  • Gente sul ponte [Ludzie na moście], trans. Pietro Marchesani, Milano: Libri Scheiwiller, 1996
  • La fine e l'inizio [Początek i koniec], trans. Pietro Marchesani, Milano: Libri Scheiwiller, 1997
  • Vista con granello di sabbia: poesie 1957-1993 [Widok z ziarnkiem piasku], trans. Pietro Marchesani, Milano: Adelphi Edizioni, 1998; 2004
  • Nulla è in regalo, trans. Pietro Marchesani, Krakow, WL 1998
  • 25 [Venticinque] poesie, trans. Pietro Marchesani, Milano: Mondadori, 1998
  • Posta letteraria: ossia come diventare (o non diventare) scrittore, trans. Pietro Marchesani, Milano: Libri Scheiwiller, 2002
  • Taccuino d'amore [wybór poezji], trans. Pietro Marchesani, Milano: Libri Scheiwiller, 2002
  • Ogni caso [Wszelki wypadek], trans. Pietro Marchesani, Milano: Libri Scheiwiller, 2003
  • Uno spasso [Sto pociech], trans. Pietro Marchesani, Milano: Libri Scheiwiller, 2003
  • Discorso all’Ufficio oggetti smarriti [wybór poezji], trans. Pietro Marchesani, Milano: Adelphi Edizioni, 2004
  • Attimo [Chwila], trans. Pietro Marchesani, Fermo: Grafiche Fioroni, 2003; Milano: Libri Scheiwiller, 2004
  • Sale [Sól], trans. Pietro Marchesani, Milano: Libri Scheiwiller, 2005
  • Appello allo Yeti [Wołanie do Yeti], trans. Pietro Marchesani, Milano: Libri Scheiwiller, 2005
  • Letture facoltative [Lektury nadobowiązkowe], trans. Valentina Parisi, Milano: Adelphi Edizioni, 2006
  • Due punti [Dwukropek], trans. Pietro Marchesani, Milano: Adelphi Edizioni, 2006
  • Grande numero [Wielka liczba], trans. Pietro Marchesani, Milano: Libri Scheiwiller, 2006
  • Opere [poezja z lat 1945-2005; Niewydany zbiór; Dlatego żyjemy; Pytania zadawane sobie; Wołanie do Yeti; Sól; Sto pociech; Wszelki wypadek; Wielka liczba; Ludzie na moście; Koniec i początek; Chwila; Dwukropek oraz wybór prozy], trans. Pietro Marchesani, Valentina Parisi, Luca Bernardini, Federica K. Clementi, Milano: Adelphi Edizioni, 2008
  • La gioia di scrivere [Radość pisania; zbiór poezji], trans. Pietro Marchesani, Milano: Adelphi Edizioni, 2009
  • Basta così [Wystarczy], trans. Silvano de Fanti, Milano: Adelphi Edizioni, 2012

Russian:

  • Izbrannoe [Wybór wierszy], Moskwa: Tekst, 2007

Serbian:

  • Izbrane pesme [Wybór wierszy], trans. Petar Vujičić, Biserka Rajč, Belgrad: Treći Trg, 2014

Slovak:

  • 49 basni, trans. Vlastimil Kovalčik, Bratysława: Q 111, 1999

Spanish:

  • Paisaje con grano de arena [Widok z ziarnkiem piasku], Barcelona: Lumen, 1997
  • Instante [Chwila], Tarragona: Igitur, 2004
  • Dos puntos [Dwukropek], trans. Gerardo Beltran, Abel A. Murica Soriano, Tarragona: Igitur/Poesia, 2007
  • Aquí [Tutaj], trans. Gerardo Beltrán, Abel A. Murcia Soriano, Madrid: Bartleby, 2009
  • Lecturas no obligatorias [Lektury nadobowiążkowe], trans. Manel Bellmunt Serrano, Barcelona: Ediciones Alfabia, 2009
  • Amor feliz y otros poemas [Miłość szczęśliwa i inne wiersze], trans. Gerardo Beltrán, Abel A. Murcia, Caracas: Bid & co. Editor, 2010
  • Hasta aquí [Wystarczy], trans. Abel Murcia Soriano, Posdata, 2012
  • Y hasta aquí [Wybór wierszy], trans. Abel Muecia, Gerardo Beltràn, Mexico: PD.Editores, 2013

Swedish:

  • Aldrig tva ganger, Nordingra: Ordström, 1996
  • Närä ögat, Stockholm: FBIs Lyrikklubb, 1996
  • Utopia, Stockholm: FBIs Lyrikklubb, 1996
  • Bredvidläsning, Stockholm: Fibs Lyrikklubb, 1997
  • Dikter 1945-2002, Stockholm: Fibs Lyrikklubb, 2003
  • Ett kolon [Dwukropek], trans. Andres Bodegard, Lund: Ellerströms, 2008
  • Här [Tutaj], trans. Anders Bodegård, Ellerströms, 2009
  • Nog nu [Wystarczy], trans. Anders Bodegard, Halmstad: Ellerströms, 2013

Ukrainian:

  • Vibranì poezìï ta eseï [Wybrane wiersze i eseje], trans. Jarini Senčišin, Lviv: Litopis, 2001