Tuesday, April 24, 2018


I was checking out a new-to-me library yesterday and came across a book of poetry from one of my favorite poets, Wislawa Szymborska. When I took the book off the shelf, it fell open to this poem. I took it as a clear sign that I needed to share.


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.


  1. Oh, beautiful Bonny! Again, I am shown how much I have yet to explore about poets! Thank you so much!

  2. My favorite Szymborska EVER. XOXO

  3. I prefer to read poetry rather than to write it - thank you for sharing another wonderful poem.

  4. A very appropriate poem for your situation since it sounds like you have new possibilities. Maybe it was a nudge from the universe. Thanks for sharing this, Bonny. And aren't new libraries a ton of fun?

  5. What a beautiful and deeply meaningful poem! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Absolutely beautiful. Makes me want to write an I prefer post

    1. Now that sounds like a very good idea. I'll look forward to reading that post, and may steal your idea for one of my own some day!

  7. You introduced me to Szymborska and I'm forever grateful. This poem is now my new-favorite.

  8. this poet is my soul mate....

  9. This must be a favorite of many people if the page falls right open. It is certainly one of her most well known! Thank you for sharing this poem!

  10. Thank-you for sharing Bonny! I really, really enjoyed this poem! (And I would't look for poetry...ever!) (Maybe I should!)


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