Wisława Szymborska – Learn Polish with Poetry


The new ‘Culture’ section of the website is designed to draw our readers’ attention to Polish films, music, poetry and art which are particularly useful for those learning Polish, and which will help to put some of the vocabulary and grammar in context.

Wisława Szymborska (1923-2012) was a Polish-born poet who, for most of her life lived in Kraków and whose works won her the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature. Whilst clearly technically accomplished, it is striking how accessible some of Szymborska’s work can be for language learners.

Many of these works are available on the internet, legally or otherwise. For an example of an nice poem for a learner, check out Możliwości (Possibilities), which is also freely available on the Nobel Prize website. See if you can work out how to say ‘I prefer’!

There are also a number of books available in Polish with an English translation on each facing page, such as Here (pictured above).

For good measure, here’s a nice animation inspired by Szymborska’s poem Cebula (Onion) – which you may also be able to track down online:

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