Wislawa Szymborska is a Polish poet who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996. She was unique in her poetic subjects. This is a poem that emphasizes the importance of individuality and personal choices. At the outset, the poem appears like a childish expression of her choices but a detailed analysis helps the readers to find how indispensable the personal preferences are.
In the first stanza, she writes about her preferences for movies, cats, oak, Dickens and the list continues. As the title denotes the writer had many choices but she stands for her preferences. She presents a childlike mindset where one should stand for their likes over anything. She is not concerned about the popular choices but is bothered only about individual ones. She is not thinking about the majority but her personal preferences are more important to her.
The speaker leads the readers through her choices throughout the poem. She confirms that ” even the possibility that existence has its reason for being.” She affirms why one should stand firm against social trends and follow personal believes
Read the poem below
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.
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