Vox Populi

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Wislawa Szymborska: Possibilities

I prefer movies.
I prefer cats.
I prefer the oaks along the Warta.
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.



From “Nothing Twice” (1997), Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh. Copyright © Wislawa Szymborska, S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh. Included in Vox Populi by permission of C. Cavanagh.

Wisława Szymborska (1923-2012) was born in Bnin (now part of Kórnik), close to the city of Poznań, Poland. She was the 1996 Nobel laureate in Literature .

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5 comments on “Wislawa Szymborska: Possibilities

  1. Sean Sexton
    December 20, 2021

    And I prefer this kind of preferential treatment!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. tathomas311
    December 17, 2021

    So beloved to me, this poem and this poet.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Barbara Huntington
    December 17, 2021

    I prefer poems that speak with a sly wink

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on December 17, 2021 by in Opinion Leaders, Poetry and tagged , .

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