Wisława Szymborska | Critical Review by Helen Vendler

This literature criticism consists of approximately 10 pages of analysis & critique of Wisława Szymborska.
This section contains 2,999 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
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SOURCE: "Unfathomable Life," in New Republic, Vol. 214, No. 1, January 1, 1996, pp. 36-9.

[Below, Vendler comments on Szymborska's evolution as a poet and establishes a context for her art.]

"Again, and as ever,… the most pressing questions / are naïve ones." The remarkable poet Wislawa Szymborska closes, with this remark, a late poem, "The Century's Decline," on the collapse of Marxist utopian hopes, after uttering one of her deliberately "naïve" questions: "How should we live?" Szymborska, one of a generation of notable Polish poets (she was born in 1923), was brought to American attention by Czeslaw Milosz in his history of Polish poetry, by two slim collections of translations, and by Stanislaw Baranczak in Spoiling Cannibals' Fun, his recent anthology of Polish poetry of the last two decades of Communist rule. Now Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh, his collaborator in that anthology, have...

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This section contains 2,999 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Nobel Prize for Literature
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