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Time Out With Art and Poetry with Nada



A Contribution to Statistics

by Wislawa Szymborska

English version by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak

Out of a hundred people

those who always know better

– fifty-two

doubting every step

– nearly all the rest,

glad to lend a hand

if it doesn’t take too long

– as high as forty-nine,

always good

because they can’t be otherwise

– four, well maybe five,

able to admire without envy

– eighteen,

suffering illusions

induced by fleeting youth

– sixty, give or take a few,

not to be taken lightly

– forty and four,

living in constant fear

of someone or something

– seventy-seven,

capable of happiness

– twenty-something tops,

harmless singly, savage in crowds

– half at least,


when forced by circumstances

– better not to know

even ballpark figures,

wise after the fact

– just a couple more

than wise before it,

taking only things from life

– thirty

(I wish I were wrong),

hunched in pain,

no flashlight in the dark

– eighty-three

sooner or later,


– thirty-five, which is a lot,


and understanding

– three,

worthy of compassion

– ninety-nine,


– a hundred out of a hundred.

Thus far this figure still remains unchanged.- See more at: http://www.poetry-ch...h.lgnHiVNC.dpuf


She died at 88 last year. Thanks for the poetry and RIP.


Recommended Comments



Very nice.


Can feel the pain of a poor man

- More than four fifths


Aspires to the pain and discomfort only the very rich experience

- nearly all

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here's the escort version


who can enjoy sex without ANY guilt or conflict

- ten, maybe bit more.. try to make them my regulars.


oh- my brain isn't working right now. Just dealing with different external drives. :)

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