"Advertisement" from POEMS NEW AND COLLECTED by Wisława Szymborska. English translation copyright ©1998 by Harcourt, Inc. Used with the permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.Source: Poems New and Collected (Harcourt Inc., 1998)
*obrigada pra sempre pra dessa criatura linda no twitter, postada pela @cacildanc, pq eu ñ sabia q wislawa szymborska existia (sorry), e agora, ñ vivo mais sem as suas palavras. 'googlando' informações, soube que morreu em fevereiro deste ano. acho q descobri-la no ano em que ela morre - antes tarde do que nunca - é um símbolo da eternidade da vida na arte*
BY WISŁAWA SZYMBORSKA
TRANSLATED BY STANISLAW BARANCZAK AND CLARE CAVANAGH
I’m a tranquilizer.
I’m effective at home.
I work in the office.
I can take exams
on the witness stand.
I mend broken cups with care.
All you have to do is take me,
let me melt beneath your tongue,
just gulp me
with a glass of water.
I know how to handle misfortune,
how to take bad news.
I can minimize injustice,
lighten up God’s absence,
or pick the widow’s veil that suits your face.
What are you waiting for—
have faith in my chemical compassion.
You’re still a young man/woman.
It’s not too late to learn how to unwind.
you have to take it on the chin?
Let me have your abyss.
I’ll cushion it with sleep.
You’ll thank me for giving you
four paws to fall on.
Sell me your soul.
There are no other takers.
There is no other devil anymore.
Wisława Szymborska [ 1923–2012 ] - Well-known in her native Poland, Wisława Szymborska received international recognition when she won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996. In awarding the prize, the Academy praised her “poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality.” Collections of her poems that have been translated into English include People on a Bridge (1990),View with a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems (1995), and Monologue of a Dog (2005). 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. In the poem “The End and the Beginning,” Szymborska writes, “After every war / someone’s got to tidy up.". In the New York Times Book Review, Stanislaw Baranczak wrote, “The typical lyrical situation on which a Szymborska poem is founded is the confrontation between the directly stated or implied opinion on an issue and the question that raises doubt about its validity. The opinion not only reflects some widely shared belief or is representative of some widespread mind-set, but also, as a rule, has a certain doctrinaire ring to it: the philosophy behind it is usually speculative, anti-empirical, prone to hasty generalizations, collectivist, dogmatic and intolerant.” Szymborska lived most of her life in Krakow; she studied Polish literature and society at Jagiellonian University and worked as an editor and columnist. A selection of her reviews was published in English under the title Nonrequired Reading: Prose Pieces (2002). She received the Polish PEN Club prize, the Goethe Prize, and the Herder Prize.