Anna Swir was born in Warsaw in 1909 and lived there until the Warsaw uprising of 1944, during which time she served as a nurse and experienced the city's near-total destruction. Her poetry, which she began to publish in the 1930's, takes up themes such as war, sexual love, and motherhood. In "The Same Inside" the speaker of the poem tells about encountering an old beggar woman on the street while en route to a romantic tryst. Falling into conversation with the needy stranger, the speaker experiences an intense moment of recognition and communion and loses interest in the planned rendezvous. The poem, addressed to the lover with whom the original tryst was to take place, delves into the forces that attract us to others and then maintain our connections with them. How trustworthy is the sense of identifying with another human being? Do we connect with others because of what we feel we can give to them? Take from them? How do we decide which relationship takes precedence when?
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Reading - Short Enough to Read Aloud.
Connection and RelationshipExclusion and BelongingGiving and ReceivingImpact and OutcomesLove and CompassionMoney and WealthMotives and ValuesPoverty and NeedRoles and BoundariesServing and Volunteering
What kinds of relationships matter the most?How do we respond to strangers?When I give, what do I expect in return? What do I receive?What impact matters most?What is the impact of our actions - on ourselves and others?Should we love the people we serve?Can selfish motives result in positive action?How do we know what someone needs?How should we respond to people and communities in need?How far should we go in trying to identify with those we serve?Is it important to set boundaries? Why?Should we keep a distance from the people we serve?