Monday, December 28, 2020

Poetry on Monday

As we approach the end of 2020, I've been thinking about the multitude of things that weren't possible this year. I know turning the calendar page to 2021 will not be a magic cure-all, but I do hope that many more things become possible for all of us in the new year. 

by Wislawa Szymborska

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.

By Wislawa Szymborska, From Nothing Twice, 1997. Wydawnctwo Literackie. Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh. 

You can read more about the poet here

I wish you mindfulness, peace, good health, plenty of possibilities, and some poetry this week. 


  1. Beautiful! (I have written down: "I prefer not to ask how much longer and when." Wise words and ones very needed!)

  2. beautiful poem, 2021 has to be better!!!

  3. The beginning of 2021 does fill me with the hope of new possibilities in the new year as well, Bonny. I hope today is a great day for you that portends well for 2021! Happy Monday, Bonny!

  4. Many years ago, my "one little word" was . . . possibility. That year, I found the poem you've shared today -- and it became my "theme song" for the entire year. I love it more every time I read it! (The power of Szymborska. . . ) It is the ultimate perfect New Year poem, and I thank you so much for sharing it today. XO

  5. I love the poem for what it says but also for how it's making me thinking about what I do and don't prefer. It's a great way to contemplate the approach of a new year.

  6. "I prefer myself liking people to loving mankind." Wow, that line really spoke to me, especially at this moment in time, when I'm having such a hard time feeling anything positive toward some people. Far better, I think, for me to focus on warm feelings toward individuals (friends and family) than trying to feel something good toward people in general.

  7. Thank-you Bonny! this has certainly gotten me thinking!

  8. Beautiful poem and from an author new to me, thankyou for sharing.
    I found you whilsst blog hopping, be lovely to see you over on mine at


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