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Wislawa Szymborska

Translated by Clare Cavanagh & Stanisław Barańczak

‘I know much more — / but nothing for sure.’

Wislawa Szymborska

Wisława Szymborska was born in Bnin (now a part of Kórnik) in Western Poland in 1923. She studied Polish Literature and Sociology at Jagiellonian University in Krakow. She has published more than fifteen books of poetry including Widok z ziarnkiem piasku, 102 wiersze (1996), Ludzie na moscie (1986), Poezje wybrane II (1983), Wybór wierszy (1973), Poezje (1970), Poezje wybrane (1967) and Wolanie do Yeti (1957). Her poems have been translated into many languages; her collections available in English include, Miracle Fair: Selected Poems of Wisława Szymborska (2001, W.W. Norton & Company, translated by Joanna Trzeciak), View with a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems (1995, translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh), People on a Bridge (1990, translated by Adam Czerniawski), and Sounds, Feelings, Thoughts: Seventy Poems (1981, translated by Magnus Krynski and Robert A. Maguire). Among her many honours and awards are a Goethe Prize, a Herder Prize, and a Polish PEN Club prize. Wisława Szymborska won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996. She has lived in Krakow since 1931.

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Translated by Clare Cavanagh

Clare Cavanagh is Herman and Beulah Pearce Miller Research Professor in Literature at Northwestern University. Her book Lyric Poetry and Modern Politics: Russia, Poland, and the West is forthcoming from Yale University Press. She has translated ten prize-winning volumes of Polish poetry and prose, most notably the work of Wislawa Szymborska and Adam Zagajewski. She is currently working on an authorized biography of Czeslaw Milosz (Farrar Straus Giroux).

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Translated by Stanisław Barańczak

Stanisław Barańczak is the Alfred Jurzykowski Professor of Polish Literature emeritus at Harvard University. He has translated over 100 volumes of English poetry into Polish, including the plays of Shakespeare, John Donne, Emily Dickinson, James Merrill, Elizabeth Bishop, Bob Dylan, and Ogden Nash. He is one of Poland’s most renowned contemporary poets.

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