Wislawa Szymborska was born in 1923. She has published poetry collections sparingly—every seven to ten years. Her first collection was That’s What We Live For (1952), and her most recent is The End and the Beginning (1993). Her poetry is full of wisdom, wit, and a haunting, surreal quality. One of her major themes is differentness, or otherness: the lack of mutual comprehension between different conditions, species, kinds of matter. She asks profound questions about the meaning—or non-meaning—of life—of non-life, often in a deceptively simple, even naïve-sounding, way. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996. She lives in Kraków.