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Zbigniew Herbert was born in Lwów, Poland, in 1924. In his late teens he fought in the underground resistance against the Nazis. He later studied law, economics, and philosophy at the universities of Cracow, Torun, and Warsaw. He has published three volumes of poetry in Polish, and his Selected Poems was published in the Penguin Modern European Poets series. Among those in the West who are familiar with his work, an unusually large number of poets and critics are of the opinion that he is the greatest living poet. His awards include that of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America and the Austrian Government Prize for European Literature.