Astonishment Historical Context

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Szymborska wrote "Astonishment" in 1972, a period of considerable political tension in Poland. However, the poem is decidedly apolitical, like much of Szymborska's verse. Over her career, despite having lived in a country in which politics has in many ways defined how people think and live, the poet has for the most part written poetry that does not make any overt political statements. This has brought her criticism from some quarters. But, as she has expressed both in her 1996 Nobel lecture and a 1996 interview with Dean Murphy in the Los Angeles Times, for her to offer political opinions would be to somehow indicate that she has answers to certain questions, which she feels she does not. She says that the mistake that the Communist Party made, for example, was to think that it had the final answer to the question about an ideal...

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This section contains 930 words
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Poetry for Students
Astonishment from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.