Wisława Szymborska’s poems are not the poetry of big ideas. It is the poetry of minor events, ordinary objects. Under this ordinary everyday life veneer, there’s always an extra layer, a deeper level, lurking in the work of the Nobel Prize winner from Kraków. This time it’s an experience that’s the basis for entering adulthood, because adulthood can be entered at any age, even as a one-year-old. Questions abound in this poem--questions we carry into adulthood. What makes things move and what to do when things seem immovable? Are they really immovable after all, or do we just need to try something different to get things moving in our lives?

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    I am crying

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  • Now listen to the poem in the original Polish as read by the author herself. Can you appreciate the poem on another, maybe more childlike level?
  • Write a poem of your own about ordinary life using one of these prompts. 
  • Poetry is for everyone, not just the accomplished poets in the world. Listen to the words around you in ordinary life, conversations at the kitchen table, sounds on the street or  words on the TV or media. Enjoy this poetry all around you!

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