?`s and ANNEswers

Ten minutes to write. Less time to read.

Wislawa Szymborska

Only recently did I learn that Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska died earlier this year. She was eighty-eight. She was indomitable. Described as the “Mozart of poetry,” Symborska won the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature in 1996. I have read her acceptance speech, and it is magical.

Granted, most Americans probably don’t know Szymborska. But then most Americans are not interested in poetry. My son, the college professor, is the exception. And it is through him that I knew Szymborska. For Christmas, 2006, he gave me a collection of her poems with the inscription that “the world needs more poetry.”

Truthfully, I hadn’t spent a lot of time with the Szymborska book until I learned of her death. But then I reread my son’s inscription about the world needing more poetry. I also spent time reading her poems. They are as magical as her Nobel acceptance speech.

I plan to continue reading them. I also plan to revisit my favorite poets: Frost and Sandburg. And especially A. E. Housman. And someday I hope to read that my son, Kevin, who is a poet not only at heart but in reality wins a Nobel Peace Prize too. Because the world, indeed, needs more poetry.

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