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Poems New and Collected Paperback – November 16, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (November 16, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156011468
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156011464
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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, Could Have, appeared, Szymborska seemed to have made some major inroads into her notorious ignorance. Now she confessed to at least a shred of comprehension, stressing, however, that such knowledge has come at a terrible price: "We read the letters of the dead like helpless gods, / but gods, nonetheless, since we know the dates that follow. / We know which debts will never be repaid. / Which widows will remarry with the corpse still warm." And even in her most recent work, the poet continues to gravitate toward the admirable emptiness of, say, the clouds: "Unburdened by memory of any kind, / they float easily over the facts." Ultimately, though, the joke is on Szymborska, whose poems have grown more witty, more humane, and more tender--in other words, more knowing--with each passing year. View with a Grain of Sand remains an excellent point of entry to Szymborska's oeuvre, but Poems New and Collected is the place to go for a wide-angle view of this superlative and sardonic writer. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

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Aging Opera Singer
Alive
Allegro Ma Non Troppo
Among The Multitudes
Archeology
Astonishment
Atlantis
Autotomy
Ballad
Beheading
Birthday
Bodybuilders' Contest
Born
Brueghel's Two Monkeys
Buffo
A Byzantine Mosaic
Cat In An Empty Apartment
Cave
Census
The Century's Decline
Certainty
Children Of Our Age
The Classic
Classifieds
Clochard
Clothes
Clouds
Coloratura
Commemoration
A Contribution Of Statistics
Conversation With A Stone
Could Have
Dinosaur Skeleton
Discovery
An Effort
Elegiac Calculation
The End And The Beginning
Epitaph
Evaluation Of An Unwritten Poem
Experiment
Falling From The Sky
Family Album
A Film From The Sixties
Four A.m.
Frozen Motion
Funeral (1)
Funeral (2)
Going Home
Golden Anniversary
The Great Man's House
Greeting The Supersonics
Hatred
Hermitage
Hitler's First Photograph
I Am Too Close ...
I'm Working On The World
In Broad Daylight
In Heraclitus's River
In Praise Of Dreams
In Praise Of Feeling Bad About Yourself
In Praise Of My Sister
Innocence
Interview With A Child
Into The Ark
The Joy Of Writing
Landscape
A Large Number
Laughter
Lazarus Takes A Walk
Lesson
The Letters Of The Dead
Life While-you-wait
Likeness
Lot's Wife
Love At First Sight
May 16, 1973
Maybe All This
A Medieval Miniature
Memory Finally
Miracle Fair
A Moment In Troy
The Monkey
Motion
Museum
Negative
No End Of Fun
No Title Required
Notes From A Nonexistent Himalayan Expedition
Nothing Twice
Nothing's A Gift
Old Folks' Home
On Death, Without Exaggeration
On The Banks Of The Styx
One Version Of Events
The Onion
An Opinion On The Question Of Pornography
Our Ancestors' Short Lives
Over Wine
A Palaeolithic Fertility Fetish
Parable
Parting With A View
The People On The Bridge
Pi
Pieta
Plotting With The Dead
Poetry Reading
Portrait Of A Woman
Possibilities
Prologue To A Comedy
Psalm
The Railroad Station
The Real World
Reality Demands
Report From The Hospital
The Rest
Returning Birds
Rubens' Women
Seance
Seen From Above
Shadow
The Silence Of Plants
Sky
Slapstick
Smiles
Snapshot Of A Crowd
Soliloquy For Cassandra
Some People
Some People Like Poetry
A Speech At The Lost-and-found
Stage Fright
Starvation Camp Near Jaslo
Still
Still Life With A Balloon
The Suicide's Room
Surplus
Synopsis
A Tale Begun
Tarsier
The Terrorist, He's Watching
Thank-you Note
Theatre Impressions
Thomas Mann
The Three Oddest Words
To My Friends
To My Heart, On Sunday
Tortures
The Tower Of Babel
Travel Elegy
True Love
Under One Small Star
An Unexpected Meeting
Utopia
Vietnam
View With A Grain Of Sand
Vocabulary
Voices
Warning
Water
We're Extremely Fortunate
Without A Title
Writing A Resume
Written In A Hotel
Wrong Number
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder® --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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The reader will most likely be surprised.
Flippy
In the book New and COlleceted by Szymborska there are many poems to which I can relate to, or that make statements about what the world is like today.
Kristy
These are great poems that can be read and enjoyed by everyone.
Harper Curtis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Cort Mcmurray on February 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The worst thing my Polish grandparents did was discourage their children from speaking Polish. Now, two generations removed from the language, I can only wonder at what Ms. Szymborska's astonishing work sounds like in her native tounge. The translators have done an admirable job of establishing a gentle sense of humor, a strong and steady voice in the English versions of these poems, which makes me long all the more to be able to read them in their original Polish.
Ms. Szymborska has that wonderful eastern European ability to show us that everything matters -- our words, our thoughts, our ancestors, our own mortality make us who we are, and who we are exists in an eternal Now. "Life, however long, is always short," she writes, "too short for anything to be added."
Perhaps the most moving of these works is "In Broad Daylight," a fantastic portrait of the poet Krzysztof Baczynski, killed at age 23 during the Warsaw Uprising, as an old man, vacationing in the mountains, sipping soup, readng the paper. Ms. Szymborska shows us how these simple acts, what she calls elsewhere "commonplace miracles," are precious. We who live have an obligation to see the miracle in our very exisitence, to savor and to succor life.
Szymborska deserves to be widely read. This volume is highly recommended.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Bradley C. Jenkins on July 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Szymborska has long been a favorite of mine. I have compared many different English translations of her poetry. The translators of this volume are by far the best. They make Szymborksa's poetry flow effortlessly, seamlessly. This is a a rare and wonderful poetry book.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By I X Key on April 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
Each of these poems is totally exactly within its own language. Szymborska is a very clear-cut poet -- straightforward, simple. Her quiet humor is exemplified in the beginning of her Nobel acceotance speech. "They say that the first sentence of any speech is always the hardest. Well, that one's behind me." After that, for the rest of this book, her poems are very concise & wonderfully thoughtful. Lucid. This is welcoming poetry.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By s0152920@monmouth.edu on March 12, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Szymborska's poetry is simple and brilliant. Even in translation the language is eloquent and subtle. This Polish poet has seen many years and gently shares with us a wisdom that only time can bring. Her insights into human nature are at once piercing and tender. Her images dance and whirl before us: this is truly a living poetry. Szymborska seems to have sat in the corner of endless crowded and uncrowded rooms and she shares with us the intricacy of over 70 years of situations. A must for those who love poetry, and a volume to make those love poetry that have never kissed its lips before.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Wistawa Szymborska is a very intelligent poet. Her work is one of the best that I have ever read on. One of her poems is called, "The End and the Beginning." The part that touched me the most was stanza two; "someone has to shove the rubble to the roadsides so the carts loaded with corpses can get by." This little stanza holds so much feeling and information it can be overwhelming. Her poems are powerful in a way that she makes you feel like you are right there with her as she is writing this poem. She puts so much of herself into these poems and this is what makes them so wonderful to read. So I would like to think her for writing such wonderful poems for others to read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Flippy on December 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
Wislawa Szymborska's poetry has this incredible but simple, accessible depth. The reader will most likely be surprised. When one thinks of most Eastern European poets, there seems to hover an element of melancholy as opposed to wonder. Szymborska has the wonder with an aura of detachment.

Reading this collection, I was also intrigued by her use of humor as in the case of 'Hitler's First Photograph' which highlights a baby Adolf. The language is silly, the way adults talk to babies but there is an element of dark foreboding.

Others I enjoyed were 'View with a Grain of Sand', 'Poetry Reading', 'Lot's Wife' and 'The Suicide's Room'. But of course, there are so many others here you can return to and re-read and re-read. Each of these poems have been carefully assembled, from the images to the tones and of course, plaudits for the translators making the English feel so smooth, simple and at times, almost Polish.

Szymborska is a very conscious and aware poet and she brings the outside political world inside and the inside personal world out. The microcosm and macrocosm of humanity is continually balanced and the poems will undoubtedly be read in the centuries to come. If I had to pick a woman to represent the 20th century, it would be Wislawa Szymborska.

A must read for poetry lovers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "jprell" on August 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Another testament to Szymborska skillful simplicity and amazing insight, this book can be placed at number 1 in the modern poetry list. She speaks with a tone both musical and mystical, going the vitally important extra step to view the world not only with wonder and compassion, but also with a unique creativity. As for the team of translators, they've done it again. For fans of "View With a Grain of Sand", this is a must-read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lindyr on May 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The spread of topics that Szymborska covers is wider than many more well-known poets. They are timely, insightful views on moments from life rendered crystal-clear by her descriptive wording and witty comments. An excellent read!
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