View with a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems

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Harcourt Brace and Company, 1995 - Poetry - 214 pages
76 Reviews
In these 100 poems Wislawa Szymborska portrays a world of astonishing diversity and richness, in which nature is wise and prodigal and fate unpredictable, if not mischievous. With acute irony tempered by a generous curiosity, she documents life's improbability as well as its transient beauty. The ruins of Troy; sunlight gleaming on a pewter jug; birds returning in the spring; the Abominable Snowman lurking in the Himalayas; a body-building contest; a symphony; a macabre laboratory experiment with a decapitated dog; a postcard from a sister who has "much to tell"; the discovery of a new star; the irrationality of love; the infinity of [pi].

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her writing is halting and exquisite. - Goodreads
I enjoyed this introduction to her work. - Goodreads
Wisdom shines through all her writing. - Goodreads
A selection of poems that has been with me all my life. - Goodreads

Review: View With a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems

User Review  - Richard Leis - Goodreads

The words in these poems are not Nobel Prize-winning because they are difficult and opaque, or because they are in fact quite accessible. The easiness of the imagery and the allusions, the grounding ... Read full review

Review: View With a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems

User Review  - h - Goodreads

i had clear books that i loved based on number of pages dog-eared. wish i could read the polish. bad. assery. Read full review

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About the author (1995)

Wislawa Szymborska was born in Bnin, Poland on July 2, 1923. After the Nazis invaded Poland in September 1939, she found work as a railway clerk to avoid deportation to Germany as a forced laborer. In her free time, she studied at illegal underground universities. After World War II, she resumed her formal studies in Polish literature and sociology at Jagiellonian University, but never earned a degree. In 1945, she published her first poem, I Am Looking for a Word, in a weekly supplement to the local newspaper. Her first book of poetry was published in 1952. Her other volumes of poetry include View with a Grain of Sand, People on a Bridge, Sounds, Feelings, Thoughts: Seventy Poems, and Here. In 1991 she won the Goethe Prize and in 1995 she was awarded the Herder Prize. She won the Nobel Prize for Poetry in 1996 and was awarded The Order of the White Eagle in recognition of her contribution to her country's culture in 2011. From 1953 to 1981, she worked as a poetry editor and columnist for the literary weekly Literary Life, where she wrote a column called Non-Required Reading. She died of lung cancer on February 1, 2012 at the age of 88.

Stanislaw Baranczak was born on November 13, 1946 in Poznan, Poland. He received a Ph.D. in Polish at Adam Mickiewicz University. During the late 1960s, his poetry ridiculed the absurdity of the communist system and its artificial language. He co-founded the Workers' Defense Committee in 1977, following a brutal communist crackdown on protesting workers. For his activity he was fired from his job at the Adam Mickiewicz University and his writings were barred from print in Poland. In 1981, he became a lecturer at Harvard University, where he worked until 1997 when he left due to Parkinson's disease. In 1999, his poem collection, Surgical Precision, won the Nike, Poland's most prestigious literary prize. He translated many authors from Polish to English and from English to Polish, including works by William Shakespeare, John Donne, Emily Dickinson, and Bob Dylan. He also translated from Russian and from Lithuanian. In 1996, he shared the U.S. PEN Translation Prize with Clare Cavanagh for putting into English a collection by Poland's Nobel Prize-winning poet Wislawa Szymborska. He died after a long debilitating disease on December 26, 2014 at the age of 68.

WISLAWA SZYMBORSKA was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996.

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