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Monologue of a Dog
Wislawa Szymborska
0151012202
November 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Nobel laureate Symborska takes on current events and ancient conundrums in this elegant, terse new collection. The title abbreviates the opening poem, "Monologue of a Dog Ensnared in History": the dog stands for all the citizens who served, or simply failed to resist, dictators, then wondered at the revolutions that displaced them. Other poems consider wartime victims: "What if... I'd been born/ in the wrong tribe,/ with all roads closed before me?" One poem perhaps destined for widespread reprinting depicts with tact and awe the jumping, falling casualties of September 11. Yet Symborska (View with a Grain of Sand) also excels with slower, less topical concerns. "Joy and sorrow," she explains, "aren't two different feelings" for the human soul; rather, the soul "attends us/ only when the two are joined."...


Miracle Fair: Selected Poems of Wislawa Szymborska
Wisawa Szymborska
0393049396
May 2001
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Szymborska has been faithfully translated by the team of Clare Cavanagh and Polish poet Stanislaw Baranczak; their modest and unobtrusive translations have helped to elucidate the work of Szymborska, little known outside Poland before winning the Nobel Prize in 1996. This new collection by professional translator Trzeciak has an entirely different tone, starting with a swaggering preface that declares that several poems here Englished "had been deemed untranslatable" and asserts that the poet's work "is well represented here." Would that this were true. Instead, by sticking to rhyme in English, these versions too often adopt the jog-trot of doggerel, as in "A Man's Household": "...squeezed-out tubes, dried-out glue,/ jars big and small where something already grew,/ an assortment of pebbles, a little anvil, a...


Poems New and Collected
Wisawa Szymborska
015100353X
Apr 1998
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
All poets, according to Wislawa Szymborska, are in a perpetual dialogue with the phrase I don't know. "Each poem," she writes in her 1996 Nobel Lecture, "marks an effort to answer this statement, but as soon as the final period hits the page, the poet begins to hesitate, starts to realize that this particular answer was pure makeshift, absolutely inadequate." As a self-portrait, at least, this is fairly accurate. From the beginning, Szymborska has indeed wrestled with the demon of epistemology. Yet even in her earliest poems, such as "Atlantis," she delivered her speculations with a human--which is to say, a gently ironic--face: They were or they weren't.
On an island or not.
An ocean or not an ocean
Swallowed them up or it didn't.
Fifteen years later, when her 1972 collection,...


View with a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems
Wislawa Szymborska
0156002167
April 1995
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
True, the gentlemen of the Swedish Academy have made more than their share of bloopers. But when they bestowed the Nobel Prize upon Wislawa Szymborska in 1996, they got it right, rescuing a major poet from minor obscurity. Two previous collections of her work had appeared in English, of course. Yet View with a Grain of Sand is by far the best introduction to the Polish writer, conveying not only the fantastic lightness of her touch but the entire worlds she manages to pack into, as it were, a grain of sand. Miniscule wonders are her specialty, such as the tableau she records in "Miracle Fair": "The usual miracle: / invisible dogs barking / in the dead of night. / One of many miracles: / a small and airy cloud / is able to upstage the massive moon." Yet Szymborska is also a love poet of peculiar tartness:...


Ten Poems to Open Your Heart
Roger Housden
1400045630
January 2003
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
The author of Ten Poems to Change Your Life offers personal reflections on poems about love in a slim volume best enjoyed by people who don't ordinarily read poetry. Selections include Denise Levertov's "The Ache of Marriage," Galway Kinnell's "Saint Francis and the Sow," Naomi Shihab Nye's "Kindness" and Pablo Neruda's "Love Sonnet LXXXIX"; while the poems approach love from different angles, they share extremely "accessible style and language" (a prerequisite for inclusion) and offer an essential instruction to "Wake up and Love!" Housden follows each poem with an enthusiastic and often treacly discussion in which stories from his life weave in and out of a sort of basic emotional exegesis: Kinnell's poem will "give you the feeling of wanting to live large again on the canvas of you life," while with Neruda's,...


Poems New and Collected
Wislawa Szymborska
0156011468
October 2000
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
All poets, according to Wislawa Szymborska, are in a perpetual dialogue with the phrase I don't know. "Each poem," she writes in her 1996 Nobel Lecture, "marks an effort to answer this statement, but as soon as the final period hits the page, the poet begins to hesitate, starts to realize that this particular answer was pure makeshift, absolutely inadequate." As a self-portrait, at least, this is fairly accurate. From the beginning, Szymborska has indeed wrestled with the demon of epistemology. Yet even in her earliest poems, such as "Atlantis," she delivered her speculations with a human--which is to say, a gently ironic--face: They were or they weren't.
On an island or not.
An ocean or not an ocean
Swallowed them up or it didn't.
Fifteen years later, when her 1972 collection,...


Nonrequired Reading: Prose Pieces
Wislawa Szymborska
0151006601
October 2002
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Szymborska's Nobel Prize for literature in 1996 recognized her achievement in poetry. This collection of short prose responses ("I couldn't write reviews and didn't even want to") to 94 books proves a luminous and inspiring set of readerly reports-sharp, digressive, joyous-that provide insight into the poet's process of intake and synthesis. The pieces don't so much describe the books in question as take off from them, riffing and meditating on their contents. "The world is full of all sorts of sleeping powers-but how can you know in advance which may be safely released and which should be kept under lock at all costs?" she asks after reading Karel Capek's 1936 novel The War with the Newts, a sort of 1984 meets The Lord of the Flies. "One hundred minutes for your own beauty? Every day? You can't always indulge in...


Miracle Fair: Selected Poems of Wislawa Szymborska
Wislawa Szymborska
0393323854
November 2002
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Szymborska has been faithfully translated by the team of Clare Cavanagh and Polish poet Stanislaw Baranczak; their modest and unobtrusive translations have helped to elucidate the work of Szymborska, little known outside Poland before winning the Nobel Prize in 1996. This new collection by professional translator Trzeciak has an entirely different tone, starting with a swaggering preface that declares that several poems here Englished "had been deemed untranslatable" and asserts that the poet's work "is well represented here." Would that this were true. Instead, by sticking to rhyme in English, these versions too often adopt the jog-trot of doggerel, as in "A Man's Household": "...squeezed-out tubes, dried-out glue,/ jars big and small where something already grew,/ an assortment of pebbles, a little anvil, a...


Sounds, Feelings, Thoughts: 70 Poems
Wislawa Szymborska
0691013802
August 1981
Paperback
·
 
From Library Journal
"This volume reveals a poet of startling originality and deep sympathy," said LJ's reviewer of this 1981 collection of 70 poems by the then relatively unknown Polish poet who has now won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Though the poems deal with loss, "hers is not a voice of despair, but one capable of balancing loss with wonder" (LJ 9/1/81).Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

The New York Times Book Review, Stanislaw Baranczak
Wit, wisdom and warmth are equally important ingredients in the mixture of qualities that makes her so unusual and every poem of hers so unforgettable.

See all Editorial Reviews


Vermeer in Bosnia
Lawrence Weschler
0679777407
July 2005
Paperback
·
 
Review
“A lush book. . . . Astonishing. . . . Weschler may be the finest writer in the United States.” –LA Weekly

A San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News Best Book of the Year
A Bloomsbury Review Editors’ Favorite

“There’s no writer alive with more raw and contagious enthusiasm for the world. . . . Ravishing and utterly life-emboldening.” –Dave Eggers

“Miraculous. . . . Excellentric. . . . Electrically precise. . . . Endlessly nuanced. . . . Layered. Mischievous. Faceted. Fun. . . . Weschler inspires envy.” –The New York Observer

“Startling. . . . Promiscuously eclectic. . . . Weschler is an impossibly wide-ranging writer [and] a master of the journalistic profile.”...


View with a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems
Wislawa Szymborska
0151001537
May 1995
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
True, the gentlemen of the Swedish Academy have made more than their share of bloopers. But when they bestowed the Nobel Prize upon Wislawa Szymborska in 1996, they got it right, rescuing a major poet from minor obscurity. Two previous collections of her work had appeared in English, of course. Yet View with a Grain of Sand is by far the best introduction to the Polish writer, conveying not only the fantastic lightness of her touch but the entire worlds she manages to pack into, as it were, a grain of sand. Miniscule wonders are her specialty, such as the tableau she records in "Miracle Fair": "The usual miracle: / invisible dogs barking / in the dead of night. / One of many miracles: / a small and airy cloud / is able to upstage the massive moon." Yet Szymborska is also a love poet of peculiar tartness:...

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