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Wislawa Szymborska

Awards: Goethe Prize 1991, Nobel Prize in Literature in 1996

Born: 02/07/1923 in Prowent which is present day Bnin, Kornik in Poland

Died:  01/02/2012 in Krakow at 88  where she was staying since 1931.

Language: Polish

Nationality: Polish

Szymborska was a home grown pupil and later studied polish literature in 1945 and then switched to Sociology in Jagiellonian University at Krakow.But she abandoned her studies in 1948 due to poor financial condition.

     Her first poem was Szukam Slowa (Looking for Words ) which was published in a daily newspaper. She then published poems in various papers & periodicals. Her first book was ready by 1949 but did not pass censorship. Her early works had socialist themes and later she became a member of Polish United Workers' Party. She,later got disenchanted with the Communists and joined dissident groups to press for freedom of speech.

   Her works evolved around war & terrorism. She used paradox, contradiction and understatement to drive home a philosophical themes. She was often referred to as the Mozart of Poetry. Her number of poems were not much, around 350.

Marriage: married poet Adam Wlodek in 1948, separated in 1954 but remained close to him till the later's death in 1986.

Major Influence: Czeslaw Milosz, a Polish-American poet,translator & writer who was awarded Nobel Prize in Literature in 1980.

Major Works: 1952: Dlatego żyjemy ("That's Why We Are Alive")1966: 101 wierszy ("101 Poems"), Widok z ziarnkiem piasku ("View with a Grain of Sand")  in 1996, Tutaj ("Here") in 2009,

Wislawa Szymborska

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