Wisława Szymborska

Wisława Szymborska

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Wisława Szymborska “is unquestionably one of the great living European poets. She’s accessible and deeply human and a joy—though it is a dark kind of joy—to read. She is a poet to live with”—Robert Hass, The Washington Post Book World

How to Start Writing (and When to Stop)

Literature by Wisława Szymborska

Translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh

In this witty “how-to” guide, Wisława Szymborska has nothing but sympathy for the labors of would-be writers generally: “I myself started out with rotten poetry and stories,” she confesses in this collection of pieces culled from the advice she gave—anonymously—for many years in the well-known Polish journal Literary Life. She returns time and again to the mundane business of writing poetry properly, that is to say, painstakingly and sparingly. “I sigh to be a poet,” Miss A.…
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