From a writer whom Charles Simic calls "one of the finest poets living" comes a collection of witty, compassionate, contemplative, and always surprising poems. Szymborska writes with verve about everything from love unremembered to keys mislaid in the grass. The poems will appear, for the first time, side by side with the Polish originals, in a book to delight new and old readers alike.
a bumptious, stuck-up word.
It should be written in quotes.
It pretends to miss nothing,
to gather, hold, contain, and have.
While all the while it's just
a shred of a gale.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
WISLAWA SZYMBORSKA was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996. She lives in Krakow, Poland.
Monologue of a Dog Ensnared
There are dogs and dogs. I was among the chosen.
I had good papers and wolf's blood in my veins.
I lived upon the heights inhaling the odors of views:
meadows in sunlight, spruces after rain,
and clumps of earth beneath the snow.
I had a decent home and people on call,
I was fed, washed, groomed,
and taken for lovely strolls.
Respectfully, though, and comme il faut.
They all knew full well whose dog I was.
Any lousy mutt can have a master.
Take care, though-beware comparisons.
My master was a breed apart.
He had a splendid herd that trailed his every step
and fixed its eyes on him in fearful awe.
Monolog psa zaplatanego
Sa psy i psy. Ja bylem psem wybranym.
Mialem dobre papiery i w zylach krew wilcza.
Mieszkalem na wyzynie wdychajac wonie widoków
na laki w sloncu, na swierki po deszczu
i grudy ziemi spod sniegu.
Mialem porzadny dom i ludzi na uslugi
bylem zywiony, myty, szczotkowany,
wyprowadzany na piekne spacery.
Jednak z szacunkiem, bez poufalosci.
Kazdy dobrze pamietal, czyim jestem psem.
Byle parszywy kundel potrafi miec pana.
Ale uwaga-wara od porównan.
Mój pan byl panem jedynym w swoim rodzaju.
Mial okazale stado chodzace za nim krok w krok
i zapatrzone w niego z lekliwym podziwem.
Copyright © by Wislawa Szymborska, 2002
Translation copyright © 2006 by Harcourt, Inc.
Foreword © 2006 by Billy Collins
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