Szymborska, Wislawa. “Tortures.” Poems New and Collected 1957 – 1997. 1998. Trans. Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh. San Diego: Harcourt, Inc., 2000.
This was a difficult poem to read because the first few times I read it literally, I imagined feeling specific tortures inflicted on a body: whippings, bones being broken, knuckles being popped…To me it was an admonishment – society changes but our methods of torture remain the same. It’s the mantra “nothing has changed” that haunts the entire tone of the poem. There is a sense of violence behind every word.
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called “Polish Poems and Prose” (p 188).