Wislawa Szymborska
Wislawa Szymborska's poetry

Winner 1996 Nobel Prize for Literature


Ingenting har förändrats.
Kroppen är smärtsam,
den måste äta och andas luft, och sova,
den har tunn hud, och precis därunder blod,
har ett ansenligt förråd tänder och naglar,
dess ben är brytbara, lederna tänjbara.
I tortyr tar man allt detta i beaktande.
Ingenting har förändrats.
Kroppen darrar som den gjort
före Roms grundande och efter grundandet,
på 1900-talet före och efter Kristus,
tortyren fanns då som nu, jorden har bara blivit mindre
och allt som händer, är som om hos grannen bredvid.

Ingenting har förändrats.
Det har bara tillkommit fler människor,
gamla förseelser har fått sällskap av nya,
verkliga, inbillade, tillfälliga och inga,
men skriket med vilket kroppen står till svars
har varit, är och kommer att förbli ett oskuldens skrik,
i överensstämmelse med en urgammal skala och register.

Ingenting har förändrats.
I så fall bara sättet, ceremonierna, danserna.
Rörelsen med händerna för att skydda huvudet
har dock förblivit densamma.
Kroppen slingrar sig, rycker, försöker slita sig loss,
faller ner utpumpad, drar upp knäna,
blånar, svullnar, dreglar och blöder.

Ingenting har förändrats.
Utom flodernas lopp,
skogarnas, kusternas, öknarnas och isbergens rand.
Själen driver bland dessa landskap,
försvinner, kommer tillbaka, närmar sig, fjärmar sig,
främmande för sig själv, oåtkomlig,
än säker, än osäker på sin existens,
medan kroppen är och är och är
och har ingenstans att ta vägen.

Conversation With a Stone
I knock at the stone's front door.
"It's only me, let me come in.
I've come out of pure curiosity.
Only life can quench it.
I mean to stroll through your,
then go calling on a leaf, a drop of,
I don't have much time.
My mortality should touch you."
"I'm made of stone," says the
"and must therefore keep a
straight face.
Go away.
I don't have the muscles to laugh."

No End of Fun
In the old master's landscape,
the trees have roots beneath the oil
the path undoubtedly reaches its
the signature is replaced by a
stately blade of grass,
it's a persuasive 5 in the afternoon,
May has been gently, yet
firmly, detained,
so I've lingered, too. Why, of
course, my dear,
I am the woman there, under the
ash tree

Just see how far behind I've left
see the white bonnet and the
yellow skirt I wear,
see how I grip my basket so as not
to slip out of the
how I strut within another's fate
and rest awhile from living

"Could Have"
It could have happened.
It had to happen.
It happened earlier. Later.
Nearer. Farther off.
It happened, but not to you.

You were saved because you were
the first.
You were saved because you were
the last.
With others.
On the right. The left.
Because it was raining. Because of
the shade.
Because the day was sunny.

"Lot's Wife"
They say I looked back out of
but I could have had other reasons.
I looked back mourning my silver
Carelessly, while tying my sandal
So I wouldn't have to keep staring at
the righteous nape
of my husband Lot's neck.
From the sudden conviction that if I
dropped dead
he wouldn't so much as hesitate.

"Hitler's First Photograph"
And who's this little fellow in his i
tty-bitty robe?
That's tiny baby Adolf, the Hitters'
little boy !
Will he grow up to be a L.L.D. ?
Or a tenor in Vienna's Opera House ?
Whose teensy hand is this, whose
little ear and eye and nose ?
Whose tummy full of milk, we just
don't know;
printer's, doctor's, merchant's,
priest's ?
Where will those tootsy-wootsies
finally wander?
To a garden, to a school, to an office, to a bridge?
Maybe to the Biirgermeister's

"The End and the Beginning"
From time to time someone still must
dig up a rusted argument
from underneath a bush
and haul it off to the dump.
Those who knew
what this was all about
must make wayfor those
who know little.
And less than that.
And at last nothing less than nothing.

"Brueghel's Two Monkeys"
This is what I see in my dreams
about final exams:
two monkeys, chained to the
floor, sit on the windowsill,
the sky behind them flutters,
the sea is taking its bath.

The exam is History of Mankind.
I stammer and hedge.
One monkey stares and listens
with mocking disdain,
the other seems to be dreaming
but when it's clear I don't know
what to say
he prompts me with a gentle
clinking of his chain