Astonishment Themes

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Szymborska touches on a number of themes in her sixteen-line poem, but they all center around the idea of the unfathomable nature of the world in which humans—and indeed all beings—find themselves. The title of the poem itself, indicating that a possible reaction to the world when one takes a moment to think about it is "astonishment," underscores that it is a place of amazement and wonder. The fact that the poet asks questions that are not answered (or can even be answered, perhaps), emphasizes too that the world's mysteries simply cannot be penetrated. The poet asks why she is the creature she is, why she is here now and in this place, why she suddenly came into existence when the universe had gone on for such a long time without her, what made the conditions exactly so that she would...

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This section contains 1,158 words
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Buy the Astonishment Study Guide
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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.