Tuesday November 25, 2014

Last book of late Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska hits stores in Poland

WARSAW, Poland - A book of poetry by the late Nobel-winning Wislawa Szymborska hit bookstores in Poland on Friday and it sold out in several shops.

The slim beige hardcover titled "Wystarczy" or "That's Enough" was intended by Szymborska to be her last, as the title suggests.

It contains 13 edited poems she had prepared for publication. The book also has copies of several unedited poems, in microscopic handwriting and a few corrections, that Szymborska was still working on when she died on Feb. 1 of lung cancer at age 88.

The work by the a5 publishing house in Szymborska's hometown of Krakow went on sale Friday and costs 29 zlotys ($9.00; 7). It quickly sold out in several Warsaw bookstores.

The power of Szymborska's poetry resided with her ability to use simple words and images to capture the deepest truths about life and people.

One of the poems in the new book reflects on a human palm:

"Twenty-seven bones/thirty-five muscles/about two thousand nerve cells/in each of the five tips of our fingers. That suffices/to write "Mein Kampf"/or "House at Pooh Corner."

"Mein Kampf," or "My Struggle" is a book by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler laying out his political views, while Pooh refers to a children's book by A.A. Milne, much loved around the world.

Szymborska was one of Poland's most acclaimed writers. Her humane and often ironic poems won her a wider audience in 1996 when she won the Nobel prize for literature.

Her work has been translated from Polish into English and many European languages, as well as Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew and Arabic.


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