Saturday, February 4, 2012


 Wisława Szymborska, Polish poet, passed away on Feb 1. I cannot think of a better definition of poetry:

“In a way, Szymborska supplied her own best epitaph, and obituary, in the text of her Nobel Prize acceptance speech, in which she took on the “astonishment” of normal life:

“Astonishing” is an epithet concealing a logical trap. We’re astonished, after all, by things that deviate from some well known and universally acknowledged norm, from an obviousness we’ve grown accustomed to. Granted, in daily speech, where we don’t stop to consider every word, we all use phrases like “the ordinary world,” “ordinary life,” “the ordinary course of events.” …But in the language of poetry, where every word is weighed, nothing is usual or normal. Not a single stone and not a single cloud above it. Not a single day and not a single night after it. And above all, not a single existence, not anyone’s existence in this world."

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