Szymborska: Banquet Speech

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Szymborska: Banquet Speech

Szymborska’s speech at the Nobel Banquet, 10 December 1996:

Personne n’a de routine de recevoir le Prix Nobel. De même personne n’a de routine d’en exprimer sa reconnaissance. Dans ma langue maternelle, comme dans chaque langue d’ailleurs, il y a beaucoup de mots jolis au choix. Mais il me semble qu’à cette occasion le mot le plus simple a le plus de sérieux et de sens: Merci, dziękuję;, tack.

[© The Nobel Foundation, 1996. Wislawa Szymborska is the sole author of her speech.]

(Translation of the French by Michael Lazare)

No one is accustomed to receiving a Nobel Prize. Therefore no one is accustomed to expressing gratitude for it. In my native tongue, as well as in every other tongue, there are many beautiful words from which to choose. But I think that on this occasion the simplest word is the most serious and the most meaningful: Merci, dziękuję, tack.