In 1996, when the Nobel laureate was worn on the head of the Polish female writer Wislawa Szymborska, she was overwhelmed by the sudden and huge honor. When she learned that she was going to give a thank-you speech when accepting the award, she trembled all over and said in horror: “This is a disaster for me! I have never spoken in front of so many people, and I am even more afraid of facing it.” How on earth should I deal with such a dizzying scene with the flashing spotlight?” Nevertheless, she spent two days carefully preparing a thank-you speech titled “I Don’t Know”.
On the night before the award presentation, Szymborska spent a sleepless night in the bathroom with nervousness, and silently recited the thank you speech countless times. While standing on the podium, Szymborska’s legs trembled, but when she spoke, she was as catchy as reciting her own poems, and was interrupted by enthusiastic applause many times. She said: “Why do I attach great importance to the phrase ‘I don’t know’, because it is small, but it flies with powerful wings, expands our lives, accommodates our inner sky and the vastness of the outer world. If Isa Ke Newton never said “I don’t know” to himself. When the apples fell to the ground, they would only be like the usual hailstones, which could not arouse his thinking at all. Hands… when my compatriot Maria Sklodowska Curie stopped teaching chemistry at those high schools for young girls from aristocratic families, and was exhausted in doing that highly admirable job Did she never say ‘I don’t know’ to herself during her heart-breaking days? In fact, she kept saying ‘I don’t know’, phrases that led her to Stockholm not once but twice (Ruiclassic capital). There, the restless, inquisitive mind is rewarded by chance with a Nobel Prize. “As soon as the speech was over, cheers resounded throughout the awards ceremony.
The success of this speech greatly boosted Szymborska’s confidence. She said: “This is a turning point in my life. Unexpectedly, winning the award will make me bold.”
After the awards ceremony, in an interview, the reporter asked Szymborska: “Why have you only published so few poems?” Szymborska said succinctly and wittily, “Because I have a wastebasket.”
When the reporter called Szymborska “Mozart in the poetic circle” and “Garbo in the poetic circle”, she laughed at herself: “Szymborska? Who is it, I have never heard of it.”
The reporter asked Szymborska: “Why do you regard winning the Nobel Prize in Literature as a disaster?”
Szymborska replied humorously: “When I was invited to sit on the sofa on the awarding platform, the host told me that Czeslaw Milosz (Polish contemporary poet, winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize in Literature) I used to sit on this sofa back then, and Seamus Heaney (Irish poet, winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature) also sat on this sofa. I thought to myself, this is a magic sofa, and it is time to turn to it now. Now that I’m sitting, I’m not afraid! Unfortunately, since I sat on that sofa, it has been taken to the Swedish Academy for repairs, so you have no chance of getting a Nobel Prize!”
The reporter was overwhelmed by Szymborska’s eloquence and praised: “You are serious in humorous, witty and broad language. You are simply a proficient diplomat.” Szymborska laughed and said: “I can only write some Poetry, if possible, I would be more than happy to be a diplomat, but it is a pity that this opportunity is impossible in this life.”