Type of paper: Essay

Topic: World, Poetry, Literature, Poem, Life, Statistics, Earth, People

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2021/01/04

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The statistics presented by Wislawa Szymborska through this amazing poem makes the reader reflect where in the society precisely he or she fits in. At many places, the numbers magically seem to point toward the reader. The thought-provoking presentation of numbers appears to categorize the whole lot of world’s population based on their virtues. The main motif adopted by the poet is the numbers or statistical data used to classify people. The author creatively uses statistical data and numbers as a mirror to reflect the true status of human minds and associated behaviors, and the society at large. Szymborska surprises everyone by revealing both the positive and negative sides of people in a community by dexterously using the formula of numbers. The best part of using the statistics as primary motif in the poem makes readers who may be guilty conscious at having certain disagreeable habits like fear or envy to rediscover that the habits are quite natural for the mortal man. At the same time, through using statistics as a mirror that reflects everyone and sparing none, she reminds the readers of practicing certain good virtues to make the society and the world a best place for everyone to live in. The poem is like a guide explaining someone from another planet visiting the earth for the first time about the nature of inhabitants on the earth. Szymborska’s number theory seems to suit audiences of all cultures and societies of all times around the world. The fact that the original poem written in Polish language has wider audience around the world affirms it.
Szymborska’s opening lines set apart people in the society into two main categories; fifty two percent have initiatives to do things whereas the remaining forty eight percent always hesitate to move forward fearing each step. Her diction or style in using the phrase ‘always know the better’ seems to suggest a tinge of sarcasm and appears to include the hypocrites in the first category. As for the remaining forty eight, even though they seem to be unsure of heir next step, Szymborska’s narrative technique implies that it may be because they are over-cautious in nature. Similarly, her tone in highlighting the condition ‘if it does not take long’ for the forty nine to come forward to help others, reaffirms her sarcastic narrative style.
Another prominent style Szymborska adopts is a strong tone blended with humor to emphasize the importance of admiring others without envy, and the significance of being happy. While presenting the statistics on those who admire others and those who are always happy, both of them are a low eighteen and twenty respectively, she implies that admiring calls for a gifted ability while at the same time feeling happy requires a capability on the part of the individuals. Similarly, she expresses her inability to predict man’s behavior instigated by circumstances. This is one of the few places where she does not use her number motif; instead she uses her emotional tone to indicate how senselessly man loses his mind by falling victim to circumstances. Again, the psychological dimension of the emotive motif appears to be overshadowed by her sense of humor in revealing her finding and warning the audiences that ‘it is better not to know’ how men behave under forces of circumstances. In the preceding lines, Szymborska also implies that most men are harmless when alone, and crowds change their behavior. Here Szymborska reminds James Allen’s famous quote, “circumstances do not make man, and instead, they reveal him.”
Szymborska again uses an emotional appeal to remind that many still are in the clutches of bodily and mental pains. Having penned this poem at an advanced age, this perhaps would have been a reflection of her personal life experience. She predicts eighty three percent of the people to fall victims to trauma and pain, mainly associated with old age at one or other occasion in life. Here she gives a valuable clue that even as some elderly appear to be happy; in fact they are helplessly fumbling in the dark without any flashlight for help. The phrase ‘sooner or later’ appears to give a tone of disappointment at the family members and society for failing to fathom the emotions of others, particularly the elders. This perhaps would have prompted her to judge the population on the basis of their rendering justice to others. Even though thirty five percent of the people seems to be a respectable statistics, the following lines indicating that if being just necessitates an effort on someone’s part to understand others with patience the statistics would plummet to a pitiable three is simply heartening. These heart-rending emotional appeals give the poem more depth and inner meaning. It makes one wonder at the power of statistics to wring one’s heart.
According to Szymborska, almost all but one percent of the people are worthy of empathy of one kind or other, which she reveals toward her conclusion that every human being living on the earth is mortal. Probably, the exempted one percent belong to the enlightened souls, who lived and passed away, are living right now and will born and live in future on the earth. The closing lines with the death motif have got a strong philosophic dimension that no one ever stands away from death, and is compelled to face it one day. Possibly, Szymborska finally suggests the readers to have a relook of their own self, and to decide the best course of action for the rest of their life. Perhaps, this is the only part where all her readers, irrespective of being good or bad, feeling happy or fearful, fit in perfectly and thus connect themselves directly with the poem. Thus, her concluding remark is that everyone should realize that one’s days on this earth is limited, and thus should be mindful of the same while facing day to day life challenges. Her usage of a befitting rhyming diction ‘worthy of empathy’ to refer to the ninety nine, who deserve pitying, cuts a long story of human life on this earth short and precise.
Being a Polish, though the author’s findings and data are likely to fit with or favor the local society, the appeals and the literary devices used by her make the poem unique and universal. Wislawa Szymborska the famous Polish poet, translator and essayist won the Nobel Prize for literature in the year 1996. This inspiring poem is brought to the English speaking communities around the world by Joanna Trzeciak, who had done right justice to Szymborska’s Polish work to appeal to the entire world.

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WePapers. (2021, January, 04) Poem Analysis Essay. Retrieved May 11, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/poem-analysis-essay/
"Poem Analysis Essay." WePapers, 04 Jan. 2021, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/poem-analysis-essay/. Accessed 11 May 2021.
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WePapers. Poem Analysis Essay. [Internet]. January 2021. [Accessed May 11, 2021]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/poem-analysis-essay/
"Poem Analysis Essay." WePapers, Jan 04, 2021. Accessed May 11, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/poem-analysis-essay/
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"Poem Analysis Essay," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 04-Jan-2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/poem-analysis-essay/. [Accessed: 11-May-2021].
Poem Analysis Essay. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/poem-analysis-essay/. Published Jan 04, 2021. Accessed May 11, 2021.
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