Literary Birthday – 2 July – Wisława Szymborska

Wisława Szymborska was born 2 July 1923, and died 1 February 2012.

Nine Quotes

  1. I’m old-fashioned and think that reading books is the most glorious pastime that humankind has yet devised.
  2. At the very beginning of my creative life I loved humanity. I wanted to do something good for mankind. Soon I understood that it isn’t possible to save mankind.
  3. Every beginning, after all, is nothing but a sequel, and the book of events is always open in the middle.
  4. You can find the entire cosmos lurking in its least remarkable objects.
  5. There is, there has been, there will always be a certain group of people whom inspiration visits. It’s made up of all those who’ve consciously chosen their calling and do their job with love and imagination…Difficulties and setbacks never quell their curiosity. A swarm of new questions emerges from every problem that they solve. Whatever inspiration is, it’s born from a continuous ‘I don’t know’.
  6. I cannot imagine any writer who would not fight for his peace and quiet.
  7. Let the people who never find true love keep saying that there’s no such thing. Their faith will make it easier for them to live and die.
  8. In every tragedy, an element of comedy is preserved. Comedy is just tragedy reversed.
  9. Everyone needs solitude, especially a person who is used to thinking about what she experiences.

Wisława Szymborska was a Polish poet, essayist, and translator. She won the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature. A selection of her work is available in View with a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems.

Source for image: Mariusz Kubik, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 2nd July 2014