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Still Life with a Balloon

Woo English

Chyanne Lindgren

on 9 December 2014

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Transcript of Still Life with a Balloon

Still Life with a Balloon
by Wislawa Szymborska
The first stanza reveals that she finds more of her character in objects than in her memories. She would rather have old objects come back to her in her time of death opposed to old memories.
She is questioning the importance of objects in her past. She ends the stanza with "What good's all this?" She lists objects from her past and is admitting there was no importance in them.
All the misscellaneous items from her past play no important role to who she is now. She hasnt missed them.
All the old items aren't as appealing as they were before she has forgotten about them. They have aged in her time of absence and that is evident when she talks about the rust on the key. She acknowledges their exsistence even if she still thinks they played no important role.
The first of shifts we identified was in the fifth stanza. Before this point, Szymborska had question the impotance of such simple objects and desribed how they have seemed like a burden. It is at the end of this stanza that she admits that although they may be aged, she sees the good in them. This is expressed with the comparison of being able to see the sun on a rainy day.
Another shift is apparent in the seventh stanza. It is in tis stanza that she truly admits the importance of the objects that before she thought as a burden. Using words such as kidnapped makes it seem like the disapperance of these items are now a tragedy to her. Compared to her previous words that made the items seem insignificant such as "some string-comb"
The final and probably most important shift in this poem occurs in the last stanza. An apparent shift had started but it is in this stanza that the realizaton of the actual burden is her without all the objects, instead of their presence. Having to give them up is her true pain.
Once we read the poem and looked at the title again, we found that the title had a much deeper meaning and related alot to her childhood.
The use of refrence to all the old objects and their significance or lack of, represents how her childhood was or was not affected by such simple items.
She desribes certain items with little important, but the balloon plays an especially important role because it is the first thing she lost and is symbolizm for loss of childhood.
She is letting go of her childhood items, but "cries" as it is happening.
In Wislawa Szymborska's " Still life with a balloon." inaminaate objects are used instead of memories.

This because memories are decitful and can be supressed or fabricated by the brain.

But with objects, we can reteace our steps. We can put together our previous experiences like a puzzle.

We can also find hope in these object

Chyanne | Pearl | Jenna | Luke
TP CASTT Poetry Anaysis:
In this poem, Wislawa Szymborska brings forth a reflective tone. Definitely referring to death, Wislawa decides that when her time comes, instead of recalling memories of her past, she wishes to re-encounter 'lost objects' - so as to aknowledge their meaninglessness, which explains Wislawa's negative attitude as she list the items of her past. For example, the last line of nearly every stanza is a statement that is evident of the narrator's lack of appreciation:
"What good's all this?" (stanza 2)
"...I haven't missed you." (stanza 3)
"You've gotten rusty, friend!" (stanza 4)
"Your so-called time is up." (stanza 6)
The narrator, for the most part, seems uncaring.
However, as the reader reaches the end of the poem, the verses, "let someone else shout 'Look!' / and I will cry," (stanza 8, verse 31-32), suggest a feeling of regret within the narrator. This could mean they are not so uncaring towards these inanimate objects after all or, more specifically, the toy balloon.

This could mean the narrator feels the same way about the objects' meanings.
Instead, throughout the poem, the narrator uses objects that enable him or her to look back to the past. For example, a "paper rose" (stanza 3, line 2), represents a love previously experienced by the narrator that had no essence, passion, or warmth.
Even though the readers are initially presented with an indifferent attitude, the tone switches in the last few stanzas. In the passage, "And lastly, toy balloon / ...Fly out the open window / ...and I will cry." (lines 25, 29, 32), the context indicates that an item the narrator lost, a balloon, holds enough significance to evoke such an emotion.
The balloon represents innocence. There is further proof of this in "toy balloon", which is mostly associated with children. When the balloon is released out of the window, it becomes an act of rejecting the object, just like the narrator has done to every other item in the poem. However, he or she feels regret in doing so, for in liberating the balloon, his or her innocence will be forever forgotten.
Before reading the poem, we all had
different assumptions.

Connected to childhood.
- The impossibility of keeping a ballon still.
- Connects her life to a single picture while
putting emphasis on a balloon
- The balloon has a more deeper meaning.
All of the oaths, permits, and questionarries are a burden, but she sees the importance behind them and is grateful. She begins to recognize the good in what she thought meant nothing.
She explains a watch breaking from being dropped in water and in literal sense, she explains that it is broken by saying "Your so-called time is up"
She is explaining that her childhood toys, such as the balloon, can return to her, even though she has grown up and is no longer a child.
She is explaining herself letting go of childhood objects such as the balloon. She describes the balloon flying away to symbolize her childhood.
Paraphrase Contiued
Szymborska states that objects hold more value than memories, since objects are tangible and last longer, and memories could potentially fade. Her mention of "the time of death" suggests that the poem takes place as one dies.

She uses the metaphor "avalanches of " to express the abundance of materialistic items that she has accumulated over the years, and how when faced with death, they lose their sense of importance . The last line "What good's all this?" shows that she is now realizing how she has falsely placed her priorities.

Her use of words such as "odd" or "some" further demonstrates the lack of significance. A rose, usually a symbol of love and passion, is combined with paper, suggesting a past love that weakened her. "I haven't missed you" is her way of letting go of these items.

The "key" in this sense can be interpreted as an old friend. "You've gotten rusty, friend!" could be seen as her reconnecting with people from her past, and grasping the fact that they are old, and worn out.
Connotation Continued
The metaphor set up through the use of "downpours" and "rain" is directly juxtaposed to the metaphor "I see the sun behind you." implying that hard work and struggles will eventually lead to necessary experiences which are needed to develop.

When she seizes the watch and confronts it, she displays dominance and control of time, an aspect that otherwise is continuous and steady.

The balloon is the last object mentioned in the poem, and the most important to her. It has a sense of innocence as demonstrated by the word "toy" but she then states that "There are no children here" suggesting a loss of innocence in her life.

In the last stanza she is letting go of these objects in the time of her death, and letting someone else experience and enjoy them. "And I will cry." reveals that although these objects are meaningless now, at one point they held great value to her.
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