In every tragedy, an element of comedy is preserved. Comedy is just tragedy reversed.

Wislawa Szymborska

Somewhere out there the world must have an end.

Wislawa Szymborska

You can find the entire cosmos lurking in its least remarkable objects.

Wislawa Szymborska

Though I may deny poets their monopoly on inspiration, I still place them in a select group of Fortune’s darlings.

Wislawa Szymborska

This terrifying world is not devoid of charms, of the mornings that make waking up worthwhile.

Wislawa Szymborska

Take it not amiss, O speech, that I borrow weighty words, and later try hard to make them seem light.

Wislawa Szymborska

All is mine but nothing owned, nothing owned for memory, and mine only while I look.

Wislawa Szymborska

After every war someone has to tidy up.

Wislawa Szymborska

Read more quotes from these Nobel Laureates in Literature:

Doris LessingAlice MunroKazuo IshiguroJean Paul Sartre
Mario Vargas LlosaBob DylanPearl S. Buck Albert Camus
J. M. CoetzeeOrhan PamukV.S. Naipaul Seamus Heaney
Ernest HemingwayNadine GordimerG√ľnter GrassKenzaburo Oe
Harold PinterDario FoJose SaramagoWislawa Szymborska
Wole SoyinkaOctavio PazAndre GideGabriel Garcia Marquez
Patrick WhitePablo NerudaSamuel BeckettShmuel Y. Agnon
Bertrand RussellNaguib MahfouzJoseph BrodskyJohn Steinbeck
Salvatore Quasimodo Aleksandr SolzhenitsynThomas MannHermann Hesse

It’s just not easy to explain to someone else what you don’t understand yourself.

Wislawa Szymborska

All imperfection is easier to tolerate if served up in small doses.

Wislawa Szymborska

Poets yearn, of course, to be published, read, and understood, but they do little, if anything, to set themselves above the common herd and the daily grind.

Wislawa Szymborska

All the best have something in common, a regard for reality, an agreement to its primacy over the imagination.

Wislawa Szymborska

Any knowledge that doesn’t lead to new questions quickly dies out: it fails to maintain the temperature required for sustaining life.

Wislawa Szymborska

Even the worst book can give us something to think about.

Wislawa Szymborska

Every beginning is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through.

Wislawa Szymborska

Get to know other worlds, if only for comparison. I am near, too near for him to dream of me.

Wislawa Szymborska

I cannot speak for more than an hour exclusively about poetry. At that point, life itself takes over again.

Wislawa Szymborska

I have sympathy for young people, for their growing pains, but I balk when these growing pains are pushed into the foreground, when you make these young people the only vehicles of life’s wisdom.

Wislawa Szymborska

I slide my arm from under the sleeper’s head and it is numb, full of swarming pins, on the tip of each, waiting to be counted, the fallen angels sit.

Wislawa Szymborska

I started earning a living as a poet rather early on.

Wislawa Szymborska

I’m drowning in papers.

Wislawa Szymborska

Poetic talent doesn’t operate in a vacuum. There is a spirit of Polish poetry.

Wislawa Szymborska

Is a decision made in advance really any kind of choice.

Wislawa Szymborska

Keep up the good work, if only for a while, if only for the twinkling of a tiny galaxy.

Wislawa Szymborska

Let the people who never find true love keep saying that there’s no such thing. Their faith will make it easier for them to live and die.

Wislawa Szymborska

Life lasts but a few scratches of the claw in the sand.

Wislawa Szymborska

Nothing can ever happen twice. In consequence, the sorry fact is that we arrive here improvised and leave without the chance to practice.

Wislawa Szymborska

I like being near the top of a mountain. One can’t get lost here.

Wislawa Szymborska