Obituary Wisława Szymborska: Polish poet and nobel literature prize winner

Article published on Feb. 7, 2012

Absurdity, simplicity of the form, irony, a penchant for kitsch and unusual gifts which she used to distribute during the legendary dinners organised for her friends, a love for travel, modesty – these are only some of the characteristics that describe Wisława Szymborska (pronounced 'Viswava Shimborska'). The poet, one of the most optimistic personalities of the Polish literary world, died on 1 February aged 88. She was appreciated, among others, by Vaclav Havel, Umberto Eco, Woody Allen and the Swedish Academy, which crowned her the fourth ever Polish nobel literature prize laureate in 1996. Watch an excerpt of famed documentary Sometimes Life Is Actually Bearable (‘Chwilami życie bywa znośne’, 2009), by journalist Katarzyna Kolenda-Zaleska featuring the little mediatised poetess