Wisława Szymborska

“The world, whatever we might think about it terrified by its vastness and by our helplessness in the face of it, embittered by its indifference to individual suffering—of people, animals, and perhaps also plants, for how can we be sure that plants are free of suffering; whatever we might think about its spaces pierced by the radiation of stars, stars around which we now have begun to discover planets, already dead? still dead?—we don’t know; whatever we might think about this immense theater, to which we may have a ticket, but it is valid for a ridiculously brief time, limited by two decisive dates; whatever else we might think about this world—it is amazing.”

From the Nobel Lecture, December 7, 1996


A Selection of Poems from Here (2009).

Translated from Polish by Andrzej Duszenko.