Summary Of The Poem Some People Like Poetry

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The two translations of the poem “Some People Like Poetry”, written by Wislawa Szymborska, each create the tone of the poem differently through chosen diction, including the use of repetition and speaker versus the absence, resulting in a divide of both clear and opaque meaning of the analysis Szymborska tries to convey through the process of questioning.
The poem “Some People Like Poetry” is focused around the theme of questioning: not only the idea of enjoying something, but the definition of poetry itself. Szymborska grapples with the idea of the unknown as she asks rhetorical questions reflected in both translations, “But what is poetry anyway? (trans. Baranczak and Cavanagh, 14)” and “But what sort of thing is poetry? (trans. Trzeciak,
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Particularly in the first stanza, the pronoun corresponds with the translators’ choice to include the word in the poem itself. “Some people - / that means not everyone./ Not even most of them, only a few./ Not counting school, where you have to,/ and the poets themselves,/ you might end up with something like two per thousand (3-6).” The words “everyone” “them” and “few” all correspond with the concept of a group of persons, something one can visualize. The use of the word “people” creates a wider perspective by including pronouns in which identify with human beings, potentially on an international scale with consideration that there is no specific type of person mentioned. The poem merely shines a light on Szymborska’s analysis of the first part of the phrase in which the poem is based on. The subject of the poem relates most to its reader, bringing personal formality through the pronoun “you” into the purpose of questioning, created by an inclusive translation. The title of Trzeciak’s translated poem is “Some like poetry”, which excludes the word “people” altogether, in comparison to the translation by Baranczak and Cavanagh. “Some--/ that means not all./ Not even the majority of all but the minority./ Not counting the schools, where one must,/ and the poets themselves,/ there are perhaps two in a thousand (3-6).” The word “some” has no specificity. This exempts the personal element of the poem, creating a tone of vagueness. The words “some” and “not all” include similar meanings, but still remain with a lack of particularity. The word “perhaps” also includes an equivocal tone, one that questions even the subject of the line. This attributes to Szymborska’s questioning of the simple definition of poetry by including a light, curious tone in the first

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