Nobel Prize-winning poet Wislawa Syzmborska died on 1 February 2012.
From her 1996 Q & A with Los Angeles Times' Warsaw bureau chief, Dean E. Murphy:
Q: Is your poetry an expression of vanity?--Marshal Zeringue
A: If you mean, is it a form of exhibitionism, probably it is. I have never really thought about it seriously, but telling one's feelings to unknown people is a little bit like selling one's soul. On the other hand, it brings great happiness. All of us have sad things happen to us in our lifetimes. In spite of everything, when those terribly horrible things happen to a poet, he or she can at least describe them. There are other people who, in a way, are sentenced to live through such experiences in silence.
Q: Your friends say you have a great sense of humor, which is often reflected in your poetry. How important is humor in your work?
A: I don't want to brag here, but it seems to me, I have a bit of talent when it comes to friendship. Of course, I am talking about being friends with individual people. I cannot really imagine a friendship that is totally cerebral -- I think that friendship, from the beginning, means you are not only going to worry together, but you are also going to laugh together.
Q: Do you strive to inject this laughter in your poetry?
A: It...[read on]