Michelle G. & Leslie V.

Wislawa Szymborska

- She was born on July 2, 1923 in Bnin, a small town in Western Poland.

- She studied Polish Literature and Sociology at Jagiellonian.

- She wrote and published more than 15 books of poetry.

- In 1996, she received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

- Her poems were influenced by what was going on during World War II.

Significance of the title

- Everyone has various preferences, therefore everyone has many possibilities on achieving one's goals, acquiring one's way of life, or simply finding one's inner self.

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Figurative Language examples and meaning

Allusions - an indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, or political importance.

  • "I prefer the oaks along the Warta."
  • "I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky."

The Warta is a river in Wrocław, Poland.

Dickens is an English writer. Dostoyevsky is a Russian novelist.

Juxtapositions - a literary technique in which two or more ideas, places, or characters are placed side by side, for the purpose of comparing and contrasting.

  • "I prefer the absurdity of writing poems to the absurdity of not writing poems."
  • "I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves."


The tone of the poem is calm and cultivating. Since she portrays about her own preferences on life disregarding society’s status quo.


The poem’s structure is free verse, since it does not have a rhyme scheme

The first couple lines from the poem

"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."