A Contribution to Statistics
~ Wislawa Szymborska ~
Out of a hundred people
those who always know better
doubting every step
-- nearly all the rest,
glad to lend a hand
if it doesn't take too long
-- as high as forty-nine,
because they can't be otherwise
-- four, well maybe five,
able to admire without envy
induced by fleeting youth
-- sixty, give or take a few,
not to be taken lightly
-- forty and four,
living in constant fear
of someone or something
capable of happiness
-- twenty-something tops,
harmless singly, savage in crowds
-- half at least,
when forced by circumstances
-- better not to know
even ballpark figures,
wise after the fact
-- just a couple more
than wise before it,
taking only things from life
(I wish I were wrong),
hunched in pain,
no flashlight in the dark
sooner or later,
-- thirty-five, which is a lot,
worthy of compassion
-- a hundred out of a hundred.
Thus far this figure still remains unchanged.
(Poems: New and Selected, trans. by S. Baranczak and C. Cavanagh)
「詩界莫札特」辛波絲卡，這首Writing a resume，直透一個人被化約成履歷表的悲哀。
Regardless the length of life,
a resume is best kept short.
Concise, well-chosen facts are de rigueur.
Landscapes are replaced by addresses,
shaky memories give way to unshakable dates.
Of all your loves, mention only the marriage;
of all your children, only those who were born.
Who knows you matters more than whom you know.
Trips only if taken abroad.
Memberships in what without why.
Honors, but not how they were earned.
Write as if you've never talked to yourself
And always kept yourself at arm's length.
Here are plates with no appetite.
And wedding rings, but the requited love
has been gone now for some three hundred years.
Here’s a fan–where is the maiden’s blush?
Here are swords–where is the ire?
Nor will the lute sound at the twilight hour.
Since eternity was out of stock,
ten thousand aging things have been amassed instead.
The moss-grown guard in golden slumber
props his mustache on Exhibit Number…
Eight. Metals, clay and feathers celebrate
their silent triumphs over dates.
Only some Egyptian flapper’s silly hairpin giggles.
The crown has outlasted the head.
The hand has lost out to the glove.
The right shoe has defeated the foot.
As for me, I am still alive, you see.
The battle with my dress still rages on.
It struggles, foolish thing, so stubbornly!
Determined to keep living when I’m gone!
她長眠，雖然她生前不曾加入任何文學派系。她墓上除了這首小 詩，牛蒡和貓頭鷹外，別無其它珍物。路人啊，拿出你提包裡的 電腦，思索一下辛波絲卡的命運。(陳黎譯)」
辛波絲卡（Wislawa Szymborska）LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
再問一處" cut" 意思
今天小讀者解答球類上cut streak 說法
它引波蘭女詩人諾貝爾獎得主辛波絲卡（Wislawa Szymborska）的詩作《一見鍾情》LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT By Stanislaw Baranzak & Clare Cavanagh
if they don't remember---
a moment face to face
in some revolving door?
perhaps a "sorry" muttered in a crowd?
a cut "wrong number" caught in the receiver?
but I know the answer.
No, they don't remember.
更多:辛波絲卡（Wislawa Szymborska）LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
Wislawa Szymborska, Nobel-Winning Polish Poet, Dies at 88
By RAYMOND H. ANDERSON
Published: February 1, 2012
Soren Andersson/Associated Press
The cause was lung cancer, said David A. Goldfarb, the curator of literature and humanities at the Polish Cultural Institute in New York, a diplomatic mission of the Polish Embassy.
Ms. Szymborska (pronounced vees-WAH-vah shim-BOR-ska) had a relatively small body of work when she received the Nobel, the fifth Polish or Polish-born writer to have done so since the prize was created in 1901. Only about 200 of her poems had been published in periodicals and thin volumes over a half-century, and her lifetime total was something less than 400.
The Nobel announcement surprised Ms. Szymborska, who had lived an intensely private life. “She was kind of paralyzed by it,” said Clare Cavanagh, who, with Stanislaw Baranczak, translated much of Ms. Szymborska’s work into English.
“Her friends called it the ‘Nobel tragedy,’ ” Dr. Cavanagh, a professor of literature at Northwestern University, said in an interview on Wednesday. “It was a few years before she wrote another poem.”
Ms. Szymborska lived most of her life in modest conditions in the old university city of Krakow, working for the magazine Zycie Literackie (Literary Life). She published a thin volume of her verse every few years.
She was popular in Poland, which tends to make romantic heroes of poets, but she was little known abroad. Her poems were clear in topic and language, but her playfulness and tendency to invent words made her work hard to translate.
Much of her verse was contemplative, but she also addressed death, torture, war and, strikingly, Hitler, whose attack on Poland in 1939 started World War II in Europe. She depicted him as an innocent — “this little fellow in his itty-bitty robe” — being photographed on his first birthday.
Ms. Szymborska began writing in the Socialist Realist style. The first collection of what some have called her Stalinist period, “That’s What We Live For,” appeared in 1952, followed two years later by another ideological collection, “Questions Put to Myself.”
Years later she told the poet and critic Edward Hirsch: “When I was young I had a moment of believing in the Communist doctrine. I wanted to save the world through Communism. Quite soon I understood that it doesn’t work, but I’ve never pretended it didn’t happen to me.
“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.”
By 1957, she had renounced both Communism and her early poetry. Decades later, she was active in the Solidarity movement’s struggle against Poland’s Communist government. During a period of martial law, imposed in 1981, she published poems under a pseudonym in the underground press.
She insisted that her poetry was personal rather than political. “Of course, life crosses politics,” she said in an interview with The New York Times after winning the Nobel in 1996. “But my poems are strictly not political. They are more about people and life.”
Ms. Szymborska “looks at things from an angle you would never think of looking at for yourself in a million years,” Dr. Cavanagh said on the day of the Nobel announcement. She pointed to “one stunning poem that’s a eulogy.”
“It’s about the death of someone close to her that’s done from the point of view of the person’s cat,” she said.
That poem, “Cat in an Empty Apartment,” as translated by Dr. Cavanagh and Mr. Baranczak, opens:
Die — You can’t do that to a cat.Since what can a cat doin an empty apartment?Climb the walls?Rub up against the furniture?Nothing seems different here,but nothing is the same.Nothing has been moved,but there’s more space.And at nighttime no lamps are lit.Footsteps on the staircase,but they’re new ones.The hand that puts fish on the saucerhas changed, too.Something doesn’t startat its usual time.Something doesn’t happenas it should. Someone was always, always here,then suddenly disappearedand stubbornly stays disappeared.
Wislawa Szymborska was born on July 2, 1923, near Poznan, in western Poland. When she was 8, her family moved to Krakow. During the Nazi occupation, she went to a clandestine school, risking German punishment, and later studied literature and sociology at the prestigious Jagiellonian University in Krakow.
Her marriage to the poet Adam Wlodek ended in divorce. Her companion, the writer Kornel Filipowicz, died in 1990. She had no children, and no immediate family members survive.
Czeslaw Milosz, the Polish exile who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1980, said of Ms. Szymborska’s Nobel selection: “She’s a shy and modest person, and for her it will be a terrible burden, this prize. She is very reticent in her poetry also. This is not a poetry where she reveals her personal life.”
Her work did, however, reveal sympathy for others — even the biblical figure who looked back at Sodom and turned into a pillar of salt. Ms. Szymborska speculated in the opening lines of “Lot’s Wife” on why she looked back:
They say I looked back out of curiosity,but I could have had other reasons.I looked back mourning my silver bowl.Carelessly, while tying my sandal strap.So I wouldn’t have to keep staring at the righteous napeOf my husband Lot’s neck.From the sudden conviction that if I dropped deadHe wouldn’t so much as hesitate.From the disobedience of the meek.Checking for pursuers.Struck by the silence, hoping God had changed his mind.
Her last book to be translated, “Here,” was published in the United States last year. Reviewing it for The New York Review of Books, the poet Charles Simic noted that Ms. Szymborska “often writes as if on an assigned subject,” examining it in depth. He added: “If this sounds like poetry’s equivalent of expository writing, it is. More than any poet I can think of, Szymborska not only wants to create a poetic state in her readers, but also to tell them things they didn’t know before or never got around to thinking about.”
In her Nobel lecture, Ms. Szymborska joked about the life of poets. Great films can be made of the lives of scientists and artists, she said, but poets offer far less promising material.
“Their work is hopelessly unphotogenic,” she said. “Someone sits at a table or lies on a sofa while staring motionless at a wall or ceiling. Once in a while this person writes down seven lines, only to cross out one of them 15 minutes later, and then another hour passes, during which nothing happens. Who could stand to watch this kind of thing?”This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: February 3, 2012
Because of an editing error, an obituary on Thursday about the Nobel Prize-winning poet Wislawa Szymborska misstated the pronunciation of her given name. It is vees-WAH-vah, not VEES-mah-vah.