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Poetry Sunday: Anna Swir’s ‘The Same Inside’

Kristen Twardowski

Sometimes we find kinship in unexpected places. Poet Anna Swir’s poem “The Same Inside” captures the meeting of twin souls perfectly.

Anna Swir (or Anna Świrszczyńska)(1909-1984) was a Polish poet who wrote about WWII, love, and the experience of women in post-war Europe. When Nazis occupied Poland, she joined the resistance movement, serving as a military nurse and writing anti-Nazi publications. She was very nearly executed for her participation. Out of her struggle, however, formed a sharp mind, and she used her clear assessments of the human experience in her poetry. He so appreciated her poetry that Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz ended up translating many of Swir’s poems into English.

Though I am a fan of much of Swir’s poetry, “The Same Inside” holds a special place in my heart. In it, Swir describes a chance meeting that changes how the narrator understands her place in the world. This narrator…

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