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*Wislawa Szymborska*

The Nobel prize-winning Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska has died. The New York Times obituary is here. Paul Wells has a blog entry about her here.  I was introduced to her work by John Geddes, who pulled her book off his shelf one night and read this poem aloud to me. I loved it immediately.  


From scalp to sole, all muscles in slow motion. 
The ocean of his torso drips with lotion. 
The king of all is he who preens and wrestles 
with sinews twisted into monstrous pretzels. 

Onstage, he grapples with a grizzly bear 
the deadlier for not really being there. 
Three unseen panthers are in turn laid low, 
each with one smoothly choreographed blow. 

He grunts while showing his poses and paces. 
His back alone has twenty different faces. 
The mammouth fist he raises as he wins 
is tribute to the force of vitamins