The Greatest Love

By Anna Swir 1909–1984 Anna Swir
She is sixty. She lives
the greatest love of her life.

She walks arm-in-arm with her dear one,   
her hair streams in the wind.
Her dear one says:
“You have hair like pearls.”

Her children say:   
“Old fool.”

Reprinted from Talking to My Body (1996) by Anna Swir, translated by Czeslaw Milosz and Leonard Nathan. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.org.

Source: Talking to My Body (1996)

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Poet Anna Swir 1909–1984

POET’S REGION Poland

Subjects Growing Old, Relationships, Living, Love, Parenthood, Romantic Love

Occasions Anniversary

Holidays Valentine's Day

Biography

Anna Swir (Świrszczyńska) was born in Warsaw, Poland, to an artistic though impoverished family. She worked from an early age, supporting herself while she attended university to study medieval Polish literature. In the 1930s she worked for a teachers’ association, served as an editor, and began publishing poetry. Swir joined the Resistance during World War II and worked as a military nurse during the Warsaw Uprising; at one . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Growing Old, Relationships, Living, Love, Parenthood, Romantic Love

POET’S REGION Poland

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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