Wisława Szymborska On Possibilities

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Maria Wisława Anna Symborska  (July 2, 1923–February 1, 2012)

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 Grimm’s 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.

 

Listen to Amanda Palmer reads “Possibilities” by Wisława Szymborska here.

Marjane Satrapi On Images

02b60438-73e4-4121-9bc8-8ed780ab2a8bMarjane Satrapi (November 22, 1969 -)

Image is an international language. The first writing of the human being was drawing, not writing. That appeared much before the alphabet. And when you draw a situation — someone is scared or angry or happy — it means the same thing in all cultures. You cannot draw someone crying, and in one culture they think that he is happy. He would have the same expression. There’s something direct about the image. Also, it is more accessible. People don’t take it so seriously. And when you want to use a little bit of humor, it’s much easier to use pictures.

Rebecca Solnit On Lies And Language

D9DDEB89-B59D-4B67-90B7-A55719F6068D.jpegRebecca Solnit (June 24, 1961 -)

There are so many ways to tell a lie. You can lie by ignoring whole regions of impact, omitting crucial information, or unhitching cause and effect; by falsifying information by distortion and disproportion, or by using names that are euphemisms for violence or slander for legitimate activities, so that the white kids are “hanging out” but the Black kids are “loitering” or “lurking.” Language can erase, distort, point in the wrong direction, throw out decoys and distractions. It can bury the bodies or uncover them.