“In Praise of Feeling Bad About Yourself”

“In Praise of Feeling Bad About Yourself”

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 light.

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

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