Nobelprize.org
Nobel Prizes and Laureates


The Nobel Prize in Literature 1996
Wislawa Szymborska

Share this:

Poetry

 

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.

 

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

Copyright © Wislawa Szymborska, S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh

 

Share this:
To cite this page
MLA style: "Wislawa Szymborska - Poetry: Possibilities". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 23 Jul 2014. <http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1996/szymborska-poems-4-e.html>

Recommended:

Which Nobel Laureates are hidden within the maze of letters?

 

All you need to know about the Literature Prize!

 

Read about Alfred Nobel's Will and the Literature Prize.