Analysis Of Maybe All This By Szymborska

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There are a plethora of fascinating and thought-provoking poems in this collection by Szymborska. But when taking into account the author’s personality (best reflected in the Nobel Lecture at the beginning of the book) there is one clear standout, “Maybe All This”. In her speech, Szymborska discusses a poem penned by Ecclesiastes, “‘There’s nothing new under the sun’: that’s what you wrote...But you yourself were born new under the sun” (xvii). In this example Szymborska seems almost naively hopeful about humanity. This information makes “Maybe All This” all the more interesting. The quote from her speech points to a hopeful outlook on humanity by Szymborska, but in this poem she also makes compelling arguments the other way. In the poem Szymborska …show more content…
It is set in a scientific lab which stands in stark contrast against the topic of the poem: the worth of human existence. The poem opens with, “Maybe all this is happening in some lab” (Szymborska 248). This debate on the significance of human existence occurs against a cold laboratory environment. Throughout the poem Szymborska is consistent with her use of scientific diction, “plucked up by tweezers” (248). This is not done by accident. Szymborska does this because it is something all humans can picture and rationalize. Although the subject of the poem seems quite philosophical and esoteric, it is grounded through the laboratory setting. The setting helps the reader take greater meaning from the text. It could be argued that the poem would be less powerful and meaningful if it was set in some grand heavenly throne room. It would be far too abstract, and the poem would lose much if its realisticness. Instead, all of humanity is contained in a lab which Szymborska uses to underscore the insignificance of our existence even more. Like every part of this poem, there is always a flip side. Szymborska also uses the setting of the poem to make humans seem more significant, having the “employees” enthralled with every basic human activity at one point in the work. There is also a harshness, which goes hand in hand with the scientific diction, to Szymborska’s writing style in this poem. She does not …show more content…
Szymborska uses alliteration, “How sweet its solemn” (249). This is an example of a soft “s” consonant sound which is done to help the poem flow and to reflect a happier more innocent part of the poem. This is the section where Szymborska shows humans being celebrated for little things. The happy tone is reflected well through the alliteration. Szymborska also uses a lot of repetition, especially in her use of “Maybe”. This is done to highlight the uncertain nature of the topic and Szymborska’s speculating writing style in this poem. The entire poem is also an example of allegory, as Szymborska helps convey this abstract topic through a more grounded setting. This helps the reader understand the topic better. Another literary device present is antithesis, “on the big screen a little girl” (248). Szymborska did this to create a contrasting sentence which sparks the reader’s attention and makes the poem much more interesting to read. Szymborska also uses the structure of the stanzas and lines to help the poem flow and to direct attention to certain parts of the piece. Each tone shift, or change in Szymborska’s opinion in marked by a different stanza. The poem opens with an introductory stanza which sets the scene, and then flows into Szymborska’s different arguments, each one a different stanza. Lastly, Szymborska uses line structure to create emphasis

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