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The Nobel Prize in Literature 1996
Wislawa Szymborska

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Wislawa Szymborska - Facts

Wislawa Szymborska

Wislawa Szymborska

Born: 2 July 1923, Bnin (now Kórnik), Poland

Died: 1 February 2012, Kraków, Poland

Residence at the time of the award: Poland

Prize motivation: "for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality"

Field: poetry

Language: Polish

Prize share: 1/1

"A Mozart of Poetry"

Wislawa Szymborska was a Polish-born poet, essayist and translator. Her first collection, 'That's What We Live For' (1952), was written under Poland's communist regime and was an expression of socialist realism. She has been described as a "Mozart of Poetry", as her words fall into place with a veritable ease, and during her lifetime, she wrote around 400 poems, seemingly simple, but subtle and deep. She used common everyday images to reflect on larger truths - an onion, a cat - in her poems about life's big subjects: love, death and passing time.

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