Wislawa Szymborska

 Simply because April is National Poetry Month


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.

File:Wislawa Szymborska Cracow Poland October23 2009 Fot Mariusz Kubik 08.jpg

Photographer: Mariusz Kubik

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.


This album is a part of the series “Polish Poets.” It was created in 2010-2011 in consultation with 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature Wislawa Szymborska.

On this album, Szymborska’s poems are performed and arranged by Jacek Telus, and they sound very original. The style is best described by composer himself as “Heavy Metal Poet Rock.” The hit rock songs and reflective ballads, were specially selected so that the work of the poet could reach the widest and most diverse audience.


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.

Book Cover: 'View With a Grain of Sand'

 Wislawa Szymborska was born in 1923 in  Bnin, a small town in  Western Poland.

 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.

 Wisława Szymborska was known throughout the world through her poetry, referred to as the “Mozart of poetry” by the Nobel committee who gave her the prize in 1996.

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.

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

What are some of your favorite poems? 

29 thoughts on “Wislawa Szymborska

  1. Moralists who promise me nothing — what a great line! Every single line is a song of beauty, though some stand out more than others for whatever the reason, or depending on each reader. Thank you, Carol.


    • You’re welcome, Silvia (this time I spelled your name right…I apologize for those times I didn’t).
      There are many great lines in this poem but what strikes me, as I’ve mentioned in other comments, is her simplicity.
      Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂


    • Thanks for reading, Luanne…I’m glad you enjoyed it. I love her poem because it’s so simple and …yet, she’s a Nobel Prize Laureate.

      Gerald Manley Hopkins’ “Nothing is so beautiful as spring”
      Good poem to be reading these days. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂


  2. To be honest, I haven’t cracked open my poetry books in years, however my favorite was Shakespeare. Some of the dialogue in his scenes were poetry. I would quote one of my favorites, but I’m afraid I would butcher it since it’s been so long. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing that it’s National Poetry Month. I might just subject my blog followers to poetry from my high school days. Mawhahah! LOL!


  3. I think this really was a great post, for its easily understandable and relatable poetry! I loved it, Carol! The way you called it Heavy Metal Rock Poetry, that really grabbed my attention, too. The choices are similar in some ways to mine. I prefer to like individuals, but I do wish to love mankind, too. I also feel that Dickens is more easier understood and makes more sense for my background to relate to. I enjoyed Jane Austen and also, John Steinbeck more than Dostoyevsky!


    • Thanks for reading…You brought up some interesting points. It wasn’t me who called it metal rock, but like you it also grabbed my attention. I really liked listening to her poetry being read in Polish on the video along with a panorama of her photos. The video wasn’t very good but it still gave an idea of who she was.
      Even though I don’t understand Polish I still felt its warmth. 🙂


  4. I haven’t, until now, seen Szyborska’s poetry, so thanks. I am a poetry addict, but have dry spells when I simply forget to go to the shelves. Many, many poets move me, but Miroslav Holub and Brian Patten are among my favourites.


  5. Leonard Cohen is one of my favourite poets and song writers. I also like some of the older ones that we had to memorize at school. Scott De LaMare, Robert Frost, and others. Hope you are having a great week. Hugs, dear friend.


  6. Pingback: Bau: A Favorite Poem | Carol Balawyder

I'd love to hear your comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s