“Zeroes on the loose”: a Sunday morning listening to a beautiful poem beautifully read

“Zeroes on the loose”: a Sunday morning listening to a beautiful poem beautifully read

This is a beautiful poem by Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska to begin a Sunday morning, read by Amanda Palmer:


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.

Bravos to both Maria Popova of Brain Pickings, and singer and creative force Amanda Palmer for making this possible, not to mention the poet herself, Wislawa Szymborska.

“I prefer zeroes on the loose.”


“Possibilities” is in Poems New and Collected by Wislawa Szymborska.

I just bought a copy, and I bet you will too. ;-)