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Poland: Poet Worries About Publicity After Nobel Prize Win

Warsaw, 3 Oct.ober 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska says she is worried about the prospect of worldwide fame after she was awarded today the Nobel Prize for literature.

The 73-year-old Szymborska told Reuters she is very pleased for Polish literature but expects some difficult moments in the future because she is normally a very private person.

She said the award from the Swedish academy -- and a cash prize of $1.1 million -- came as a surprise.

Szymborska's work is difficult to translate, but she has been described by critics and fellow writers as the Mozart of poetry who combines something of the fury of Beethoven.

Szymborska began writing in 1952 but disclaimed her early work as an attempt to conform to the communist regime at the time. In 1957 she wrote a poem, "Calling Out to Yeti," which draws strong associations between Stalin and an abominable snowman.

In awarding the prize, the Swedish academy saluted what it called her poetry's "ironic precision."

The academy never reveals who has been nominated for its prizes and simply announces the name of the winner.

Szymborska is the fourth Polish writer to win the award for literature. The most recent went to poet Czeslaw Milosz.