Everything you need to understand or teach Astonishment by Wisława Szymborska.
"Astonishment" was written in 1972, but the main ideas of the poem are echoed in much of Szymborska's earlier and later work as well. The notion of "astonishment" or wonderment at the complexity of the universe is seen in much of her poetry as the poet looks with curiosity, awe, sadness, and even joy at the contingency of human existence and the place humans occupy in the universe. In her 1996 Nobel lecture, Szymborska talks about inspiration, which she says is "born from a continuous 'I don't know.'" Poets are not the only ones whom inspiration visits, she saysinspiration comes to doctors, teachers, and gardeners as wellbut genuine poets must keep repeating the phrase "I don't know," and each poem marks an effort to try to know, which the poet inevitably finds cannot be satisfactorily done. The poet looks around at the world, she says, and ultimately does not know... View more of the Astonishment Summary