Networks of conceptual blends in Wisława Szymborska's "Under a Certain Little Star"

Kamila Walker, Antonina Harbus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article addresses Wisława Szymborska’s poem “Pod jedną gwiazdką” (“Under a Certain Little Star”) from the perspective of a cognitive model of poetic meaning-making known as Conceptual Blending Theory. Developed by Mark Turner and others, this theory treats the ways in which individual chunks of meaning can combine to produce new meanings. Such integration arises from a complex cognitive capacity for the synthesis of information that underpins many distinctively human behaviours – not only the creation and reception of literary texts, but also a huge range of other cognitive processes involving systems and communication. This particular approach permits us to see how the poem’s framework of confession works in concert with multiple conceptual blends rather than highly figurative language to create a challenging text that invites a complex readerly response.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-420
Number of pages22
JournalCanadian Slavonic Papers
Issue number3-4
Early online date25 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Szymborska
  • cognitive literary studies
  • conceptual blending
  • figurative language
  • poetic meaning


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