Even 42 pages of poetry can be hard going if the reader can not discern the topic or the meaning. I had no worries with this collection by Szymborska. Most of the poems chronicle daily life or describe tangible ideas of art or science. I was particularly struck by "Hard Life with Memory." Of an age when there is more to look back on than to look forward to, it tells about a struggle to balance one's attention in the present. "She" refers to Memory in this verse:
She thrusts old letters, snapshots at me eagerly,
stirs up events both important and un-,
turns my eyes to overlooked views,
peoples them with my dead.
With some poems I identify, see myself. In others I am introduced to others and their views. Here is a mixture of emotions and high ideals, familiar and the strange, new and old. Szymborska's poems are never dull.
Szymborska, Wislawa. Here. Houghton Mifflin, 2010. 85p. ISBN 9780547364612.