Who was the poet Wislawa Szymborska?

Wislawa Szymborska decides to venture into poetry to strip her verses of all rhetoric and delve into the essence of the human being. Those who knew her, assure that her look was deep and free of metaphors, as if her inner nature sprouted through her eyes.


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This was Szymborska, one of the most relevant and unique poetesses in Poland, born on July 2, 1923 in Kórnik, a town near Poznán.

In 1996 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature thanks to the majesty of his work, capable of moving between colloquiality, simplicity, brevity and classicism, without giving up certain humorous overtones, which led to the recognition of readers around the world. .

Wislawa Szymborska moved permanently to the city of Krakow in 1931, at the age of eight, together with her family. In that city she studied at the Jozef Joteyko elementary school, she attended secondary school and finished high school in the middle of the world war. To avoid being deported, she started working.

Later, at the Jagiellonian University he studied Polish philology and sociology, but to achieve these academic awards he had to wait for the end of World War II.

Her university education led her to take her first steps in literature, with an emphasis on poetry, expressing through it the most genuine aspects of real life. Her verses demonstrated the value of everyday language to convey feelings and sensations, devastate the senses and discover the susceptibility of words.

In the middle of the post-war period, just in 1945, his first poem was published in the Polish newspaper, titled I am looking for the word, which moved more than one reader; but the greater public recognition of him was obtained after 1952, when the collection of poems For that we live was published.

Wislawa Szymborska’s style will also be marked by the context in which she moves towards her intellectual maturity. Its emerging stage is subject to the regulations of the current of socialist realism, highly mediated by the war crimes of the recent past, the sufferings of the Polish nation and its effort to overcome them.

At that socio-historical moment he also published Questions asked of oneself, in 1954, a collection of poems with certain nods to irony and where he hints at his concern for certain philosophical dilemmas, despite the ideological commitment to Marxist philosophy.

However, with the work Called the Yeti, from 1957, a break with the codes inherent to socialist realism is evident, in tune with the scenario of rejection of the Soviet imposition that began to occur in the Polish public sphere.

Then a Szymborska begins to emerge who opts for ethical-philosophical reflection, distances herself from certain political debates and offers picturesque shades of humor to her poetry, without giving up the sublime beauty that has always characterized her.

Szymborska also ventured into genres such as essays, chronicles and translations, as well as the responsible exercise of criticism that began to appear in periodicals such as Vida Literaria in 1968. Later, these criticisms were compiled in the two large volumes Lecturas facultative, published in 1973 and 1981, respectively.

A series of texts began to appear in Polish bookstores and around the world, once they reached their stage of intellectual and literary maturity, such as: Salt (1962), One Hundred Joys (1967), Every Case (1972), Great number ( 1976), People on the bridge (1986), End and beginning (1993), Instant (2002), Here (2009) and I will jump over the fire (2015), the latter published posthumously.

In those years of literary activity, his poetry expressed a good will towards what was well done, a spiritual concern to attend to daily matters and a philosophical dissertation based on aspects of his personal life.

The beauty and majesty of his lyrics earned him the Nobel Prize in 1996. In his award reception speech, he hinted at the simplicity that characterized him.

“In these noisy times it is easier for us to admit our own vices, as long as it causes strong effects; It is much more difficult to recognize the virtues, since they are hidden more deeply, and even one does not believe in them so much, ”he expressed.

On February 1, 2012, the world was shaken by the news of the death of this unique woman, at 88 years of age, a victim of lung cancer.

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Who was the poet Wislawa Szymborska?