Polish poet’s ‘wit, wisdom and warmth’ to be explored at Abbot Library

On Thursday, Dec.15, the Poetry Salon at the Abbot Public Library in Marblehead will focus on Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1996.

Born and educated in Poland, Szymborska authored more than 15 books of poetry. While Polish history from World War II through Stalinism clearly informs her poetry, Szymborska was also a deeply personal poet who explored the large truths that exist in ordinary, everyday things.

“Of course, life crosses politics,” Szymborska once said. “But my poems are strictly not political. They are more about people and life.”

‘Life While You Wait’ and other works of the Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1996, will be the focus of the Dec. 15 Poetry Salon at Abbot Library. COURTESY PHOTO

Writing in the New York Review of Books, Stanislaw Barańczak said, “Wit, wisdom and warmth are equally important ingredients in the mixture of qualities that makes her so unusual and every poem of hers so unforgettable.”

Szymborska’s poems have been translated (and published in book form) in English, German, Swedish, Italian, Danish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Czech, Slovakian, Serbo-Croatian, Romanian, Bulgarian and other languages.

Readers of Szymborska’s poetry have often noted its wit, irony, and deceptive simplicity. Her poetry examines domestic details and occasions, playing these against the backdrop of history.

Join Claire Keyes, professor emerita at Salem State University, for a discussion of Szymborska’s poetry on Thursday, Dec. 15, from 2 to 4 p.m.

The salon meets at the library’s temporary location, the Eveleth School, 3 Brook Road, Marblehead, and on Zoom.

To attend via Zoom, please register in advance at tinyurl.com/Dec-2022-Poetry-Salon. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. All are welcome.

Poetry packets are available near the library’s main desk or online at tinyurl.com/Dec-2022-Poems

For additional information, visit abbotlibrary.org, email mar@noblenet.org, or call 781-631-1481.

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