Today is the birthday of Wisława Szymborska (born July, 2, 1923), poet, essayist and translator. She was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature.
"How can we talk of order overall when the very placement of the stars leaves us doubting just what shines for whom?" - Wisława Szymborska
"Contemporary poets are skeptical and suspicious even, or perhaps especially, about themselves … in our clamorous times it's much easier to acknowledge your faults, at least if they're attractively packaged, than to recognize your own merits, since these are hidden deeper and you never quite believe in them yourself." - Wisława Szymborska
"In every tragedy, an element of comedy is preserved. Comedy is just tragedy reversed." - Wislawa Szymborska
"Inspiration is not the exclusive privilege of poets or artists. There is, there has been, there will always be a certain group of people whom inspiration visits. It's made up of all those who've consciously chosen their calling and do their job with love and imagination. It may include doctors, teachers, gardeners — I could list a hundred more professions. Their work becomes one continuous adventure as long as they manage to keep discovering new challenges in it. Difficulties and setbacks never quell their curiosity. A swarm of new questions emerges from every problem that they solve. Whatever inspiration is, it's born from a continuous I don't know." - Wisława Szymborska
"It's just not easy to explain to someone else what you don't understand yourself." - Wislawa Szymborska
"The world — whatever we might think when terrified by its vastness and our own impotence, or embittered by its indifference to individual suffering, of people, animals, and perhaps even plants, for why are we so sure that plants feel no pain; whatever we might think of its expanses pierced by the rays of stars surrounded by planets we've just begun to discover, planets already dead? still dead? we just don't know; whatever we might think of this measureless theater to which we've got reserved tickets, but tickets whose lifespan is laughably short, bounded as it is by two arbitrary dates; whatever else we might think of this world — it is astonishing." - Wisława Szymborska
"Our snakes have shed their lightning,
our apes their flights of fancy,
our peacocks have renounced their plumes.
The bats flew out of our hair long ago.
We fall silent in mid-sentence,
all smiles, past help.
don't know how to talk to one another."
- Wisława Szymborska
An Unexpected Meeting
Szymborska image source (1)
Le Chariot Chuck: 1918 - Paris, France. circa 1918. "Sample Red Cross rolling kitchen, ready to travel. On exhibition at the Grand Palais." 5x7 glass negative. View full size.
3 hours ago