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Wislawa Szymborska

The Nobel-winning Polish poet won the literature prize in 1996 and wrote about the nature of the soul, totalitarianism and death with beguiling clarity and a sense of wonder. "She is able to capture the pointlessness and sadness of life, but somehow still be affirmative," filmmaker Woody Allen said in a rare documentary about Szymborska. She was 88. Full obituary Notable deaths of 2011 Janek Skarzynsk I/ AFP / Getty Images
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