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mnmjctim:

Compare the poems by Szymborska and Milosz read over the course of this unit. All are important twentieth century writers addressing a similar theme: death. Which poet addresses it in terms of the times he lived in (and its threat of fascism), and which addresses it in a more personal way? Characterize each poet’s treatment of this theme, citing evidence from the poems.

ramen:

poem?

umm:

"A Contribution to Statistics" by Wislawa Szymborska Out of a hundred people those who always know better –fifty-two doubting every step –nearly all the rest, glad to lend a hand if it doesn’t take too long –as high as forty-nine, always good because they can’t be otherwise –four, well maybe five, able to admire without envy –eighteen, suffering illusions induced by fleeting youth –sixty, give or take a few, not to be taken lightly –forty and four, living in constant fear of someone or something –seventy-seven, capable of happiness –twenty-something tops, harmless singly, savage in crowds –half at least, cruel when forced by circumstances –better not to know even ballpark figures, wise after the fact –just a couple more than wise before it, taking only things from life –thirty (I wish I were wrong), hunched in pain, no flashlight in the dark –eighty-three sooner or later, righteous –thirty-five, which is a lot, righteous and understanding –three, worthy of compassion –ninety-nine, mortal –a hundred out of a hundred. thus far this figure still remains unchanged.

umm:

"And Yet the Books" by Czeslaw Milosz. And yet the books will be there on the shelves, separate beings, That appeared once, still wet As shining chestnuts under a tree in autumn, And, touched, coddled, began to live In spite of fires on the horizon, castles blown up, Tribes on the march, planets in motion. “We are, ” they said, even as their pages Were being torn out, or a buzzing flame Licked away their letters. So much more durable Than we are, whose frail warmth Cools down with memory, disperses, perishes. I imagine the earth when I am no more: Nothing happens, no loss, it’s still a strange pageant, Women’s dresses, dewy lilacs, a song in the valley. Yet the books will be there on the shelves, well born, Derived from people, but also from radiance, heights.

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