Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Szymborska poem

Today another poem by Wislawa Szymborska.

In Praise of Feeling Bad About Yourself

The buzzard never says it is to blame.
The panther wouldn't know what scruples mean.
When the piranha strikes, it feels no shame.
If snakes had hands, they'd claim their hands were clean.

A jackal doesn't understand remorse.
Lions and lice don't waver in their course.
Why should they, when they know they're right?

Though hearts of killer whales may weigh a ton
in every other way they're right.

On this third planet from the sun
among the signs of bestiality
a clear conscience is Number One.

2 comments:

standing on my head said...

oh yes.
i must find a collection of this poet's works.

Jonas said...

I can understand your fondness for Szymborska. I, too, will try to read more of her thoughts. She hasn't displaced any of my beloved triumvirate of Swenson, Oliver and Neruda, but she's a contender.

I've often mused upon the fact that lions of the Serengeti, after feeding, loll about lazily for days on end. The zebras, wildebeasts and antelope graze peacefully mere yards away. There's no strife. Only when Hunger calls does Death arrive.