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Szymborska, Wislawa (Translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak). VIEW WITH A GRAIN OF SAND: SELECTED POEMS. New York City, NY: Harcourt Brace, 1995. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 159 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's breakthrough third collection of poems. One of the greatest poetic texts of the 20th century. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. The First Edition is now rare. Presents the single most beloved collection of Wislawa Szymborska's poems. The book established Szymborska's reputation among English-language readers, and single-handedly created a fanatical following for her work. Part of the reason for this is surely its prescient timing: The first comprehensive selection of her body of work, it was published the year before she won the Nobel Prize. As such, the book remains (incredibly) in print even though it was subsequently reproduced in its entirety as "Poems New And Collected 1957-1997", enhanced with 64 newly translated poems plus her Nobel Prize Speech. The latter collection supersedes the former, but readers (and collectors) think otherwise. Apart from the fact that precedence counts, "View With A Grain of Sand" is thrilling discovery whereas "Poems New And Collected" is sweet confirmation. The Blakean title poem is pure Szymborskian irony: Devoid of high-flown rhetoric, anti-mystical, and anti-William Blake: "We call it a grain of sand, / but it calls itself neither grain nor sand. / It does just fine without a name, / whether general, particular, / permanent, passing, / incorrect, or apt". The poem's breathtaking climax: "A second passes. / A second second. / A third. / But they're three seconds only for us" (Wislawa Szymborska). Pace Blake, an hour is a mere accumulation of seconds (3, 600, to be precise), neither a glimpse much less a view of Eternity. Wislawa Szymborska died on February 1, 2012, one of the most beloved literary figures of our time, an indispensable voice who will live on in her work. The one "must-have" title for Wislawa Szymborska collectors. This title is a modern classic. This is one of very few copies of the First American Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Most copies available online are subsequent printings or the Softcover Edition. A rare copy thus. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996. One of the greatest writers of the 20th century. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER WISLAWA SZYMBORSKA, CZESLAW MILOSZ, ADAM ZAGAJEWSKI, AND THOMASZ ROZYCKI TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0151001537. $200.00

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