how to start your nobel lecture...you know, if that ever comes up

They say the first sentence in any speech is always the hardest. Well, that one's behind me, anyway. But I have a feeling that the sentences to come - the third, the sixth, the tenth, and so on, up to the final line - will be just as hard, since I'm supposed to talk about poetry. I've said very little on the subject, next to nothing, in fact. And whenever I have said anything, I've always had the sneaking suspicion that I'm not very good at it. This is why my lecture will be rather short. All imperfection is easier to tolerate if served up in small doses.

- Wislawa Szymborska, from her Nobel Lecture upon winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, December 7th, 1996.

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