Sunday, April 21, 2013

One Poem For National Poetry Month 2013

It's National Poetry Month, so I thought it might be a good idea to post at least one poem. I have always enjoyed teaching this one.

 In Praise of Feeling Bad About Yourself
by Wisława Szymborska
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 light.

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

Translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh

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