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Wislawa Szymborska
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Poet
    (July 2, 1923-February 1, 2012)
    Born in Kornik, Poland
    Wrote poetry collections ‘Calling Out to Yeti’ (1957), ‘No End of Fun’ (1967), ‘Could Have’ (1972), ‘People of the Bridge’ (1986), ‘View with a Grain of Sand’ (1996) and ‘Here’ (2009)
    Won Nobel Prize for Literature (1996)
    Inspired Krzysztof Kieslowski to write and direct ‘Red’ (1994)
    Her father paid her to write poems when she was five.
    She moved to Krakow at age eight and has rarely left the city since.
    She knows only one English word: ‘whiskey.’
    Once an ardent Communist, she wrote many gushing odes to Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin.
    Unlike her more outspoken contemporaries, she survived the Cold War relatively unscathed.
    She complained that winning the Nobel Prize interfered with her privacy.
    A Polish punk rocker called Cora set some of her poetry to music.
    She finished her studies at an underground school during World War 2.
    Her earliest poems were rejected by official censors for being too ‘bourgeois.’
    Her apartment became a salon for Polish writers during the 40s and 50s.
    She eventually renounced Communism and compared Stalin to the Abominable Snowman.
    Her later poems were apolitical and skeptical.
    She joined the Polish Solidarity movement of the 1980s.
    Lech Walesa praised her for being ‘so modest as a person and so great in spirit and writing.’

Credit: Georgina


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