Friday 31 December 2010



I prefer movies.

I prefer cats.

I prefer the oaks along the river.

I prefer Dickens
to Dostoyevsky.

I prefer myself liking people
to myself loving mankind.

I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand,
just in case.

I prefer the color green.

I prefer not to maintain
that reason is to blame for everything.

I prefer exceptions.

I prefer to leave early.

I prefer talking to doctors about something else.

I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations.

I prefer the absurdity of writing poems
to the absurdity of not writing poems.

I prefer, where love’s concerned, 
nonspecific anniversaries
that can be celebrated every day.

I prefer moralists
who promise me nothing.

I prefer cunning kindness 
to the over-trustful kind.

I prefer the earth in civvies.

I prefer conquered to conquering countries.

I prefer having some reservations.

I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order.

I prefer Grimms’ fairy tales 
to the newspapers’ front pages.

I prefer leaves without flowers 
to flowers without leaves.

I prefer dogs with uncropped tails.

I prefer light eyes, since mine are dark.

I prefer desk drawers.

I prefer many things that I haven’t mentioned here
to many things I’ve also left unsaid.

I prefer zeroes on the loose
to those lined up behind a cipher.

I prefer the time of insects 
to the time of stars.

I prefer to knock on wood.

I prefer not to ask how much longer and when.

I prefer keeping in mind 
even the possibility that existence 
has its own reason for being.

~ Wislawa Szymborska ~

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for including a Szymborksa poem on your blog. She's the best, and this was a great one! I wrote an entire album of pop songs based on her collection "Poems; New and Collected." I was so inspired by her words that I thought they would make vivid songs. You can check out the album here:

    Thanks for listening!



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