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September 19, 2005

In Praise of Feeling Bad About Yourself — by Wislawa Szymborska

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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.
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September 19, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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Comments

http://www.latindimples.com/snake2/. "You knew I was a snake when you picked me up." At least animals are just being animals.

And people? Is there a difference between a sociopath who knows the difference and proceeds anyway, and the hapless individual who tries to do right and crosses the line? (Both get to have that clear conscience). Great poem, BTW.

Posted by: cc | Sep 19, 2005 2:37:01 PM

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