Saturday, May 15, 2010

Possibilities


I love this poem by Wislawa Szymborska. It invites me to make my own list of preferences.

Possibilities

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 Grimm’s' 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

(Nothing Twice, trans. by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh)

Photo: www.realsimple.com

2 comments:

Rick and Kathy said...

Yes.
I prefer this.

closerocean said...

I like this poem. Wislawa Szymborska has a way with making the simple profound.

I wrote an entire album of music loosely based on her poetry. Check it out!

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/CloserOcean

-Kevin