Czeslaw Milosz
Late Ripeness by Czeslaw Milosz

Late Ripeness by Czeslaw Milosz

Not soon, as late as the approach of my ninetieth year,I felt a door opening in me and I enteredthe clarity of early morning.One after another my former lives were departing,like ...

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Conversation With Jeanne by Czeslaw Milosz

Conversation With Jeanne by Czeslaw Milosz

Let us not talk philosophy, drop it, Jeanne. So many words, so much paper, who can stand it. I told you the truth about my distancing myself. I've stopped worrying about my ...

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And Yet The Books by Czeslaw Milosz

And Yet The Books by Czeslaw Milosz

And yet the books will be there on the shelves, separate beings, That appeared once, still wet As shining chestnuts under a tree in autumn, And, touched, coddled, began to live In ...

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Dedication by Czeslaw Milosz

Dedication by Czeslaw Milosz

You whom I could not saveListen to me.Try to understand this simple speech as I would be ashamed of another.I swear, there is in me no wizardry of words.I speak to you with ...

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Campo Di Fiori by Czeslaw Milosz

Campo Di Fiori by Czeslaw Milosz

In Rome on the Campo di FioriBaskets of olives and lemons,Cobbles spattered with wineAnd the wreckage of flowers.Vendors cover the trestlesWith rose-pink fish; Armfuls of dark ...

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I Sleep A Lot by Czeslaw Milosz

I Sleep A Lot by Czeslaw Milosz

I sleep a lot and read St. Thomas AquinasOr The Death of God (that's a Protestant book).To the right the bay as if molten tin,Beyond the bay, city, beyond the city, ocean,Beyond ...

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At A Certain Age by Czeslaw Milosz

At A Certain Age by Czeslaw Milosz

We wanted to confess our sins but there were no takers.White clouds refused to accept them, and the windWas too busy visiting sea after sea.We did not succeed in interesting the ...

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On Prayer by Czeslaw Milosz

On Prayer by Czeslaw Milosz

You ask me how to pray to someone who is not.All I know is that prayer constructs a velvet bridgeAnd walking it we are aloft, as on a springboard, Above landscapes the color of ...

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Magpiety by Czeslaw Milosz

Magpiety by Czeslaw Milosz

The same and not quite the same, I walked through oak forestsAmazed that my Muse, Mnemosyne,Has in no way diminished my amazement.A magpie was screeching and I said: Magpiety?What ...

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Encounter by Czeslaw Milosz

Encounter by Czeslaw Milosz

We were riding through frozen fields in a wagon at dawn.A red wing rose in the darkness.And suddenly a hare ran across the road.One of us pointed to it with his hand.That was long ...

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A Poem For The End Of The Century by Czeslaw Milosz

A Poem For The End Of The Century by Czeslaw Milosz

When everything was fineAnd the notion of sin had vanishedAnd the earth was readyIn universal peaceTo consume and rejoiceWithout creeds and utopias,I, for unknown ...

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Account by Czeslaw Milosz

Account by Czeslaw Milosz

The history of my stupidity would fill many volumes.Some would be devoted to acting against consciousness,Like the flight of a moth which, had it known,Would have tended ...

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Ars Poetica? by Czeslaw Milosz

Ars Poetica? by Czeslaw Milosz

I have always aspired to a more spacious formthat would be free from the claims of poetry or proseand would let us understand each other without exposingthe author or reader to ...

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Love by Czeslaw Milosz

Love by Czeslaw Milosz

Love means to learn to look at yourselfThe way one looks at distant thingsFor you are only one thing among many. And whoever sees that way heals his heart, Without knowing it, ...

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Child Of Europe by Czeslaw Milosz

Child Of Europe by Czeslaw Milosz

1We, whose lungs fill with the sweetness of day.Who in May admire trees floweringAre better than those who perished. We, who taste of exotic dishes, And enjoy fully the delights ...

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A Poor Christian Looks At The Ghetto by Czeslaw Milosz

A Poor Christian Looks At The Ghetto by Czeslaw Milosz

Bees build around red liver, Ants build around black bone. It has begun: the tearing, the trampling on silks, It has begun: the breaking of glass, wood, copper, nickel, silver, ...

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Father Explains by Czeslaw Milosz

Father Explains by Czeslaw Milosz

"There where that ray touches the plainAnd the shadows escape as if they really ran,Warsaw stands, open from all sides,A city not very old but quite famous."Farther, where strings ...

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Hope by Czeslaw Milosz

Hope by Czeslaw Milosz

Hope is with you when you believeThe earth is not a dream but living flesh,that sight, touch, and hearing do not lie,That all thing you have ever seen hereAre like a garden looked ...

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Lake by Czeslaw Milosz

Lake by Czeslaw Milosz

Maidenly lake, fathomless lake,Stay as you were once, overgrown with rushes,Idling with a reflected cloud, for my sakeWhom your shore no longer touches.Your girl was always real ...

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A Magic Mountain by Czeslaw Milosz

A Magic Mountain by Czeslaw Milosz

I don’t remember exactly when Budberg died, it was either two years ago or three. The same with Chen. Whether last year or the one before. Soon after our arrival, Budberg, gently ...

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Meaning by Czeslaw Milosz

Meaning by Czeslaw Milosz

When I die, I will see the lining of the world.The other side, beyond bird, mountain, sunset.The true meaning, ready to be decoded.What never added up will add Up, What was ...

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A Song On The End Of The World by Czeslaw Milosz

A Song On The End Of The World by Czeslaw Milosz

On the day the world endsA bee circles a clover,A fisherman mends a glimmering net.Happy porpoises jump in the sea,By the rainspout young sparrows are playingAnd the snake is ...

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Window by Czeslaw Milosz

Window by Czeslaw Milosz

I looked out the window at dawn and saw a young apple treetranslucent in brightness. And when I looked out at dawn once again, an apple tree laden withfruit stood there. Many ...

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Unde Malum by Czeslaw Milosz

Unde Malum by Czeslaw Milosz

Where does evil come from? It comes from man always from man only from man - Tadeusz Rozewicz Alas, dear Tadeusz, good nature and wicked man are romantic inventions you show us ...

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Incantation by Czeslaw Milosz

Incantation by Czeslaw Milosz

Human reason is beautiful and invincible.No bars, no barbed wire, no pulping of books,No sentence of banishment can prevail against it.It establishes the universal ideas in ...

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On Angels by Czeslaw Milosz

On Angels by Czeslaw Milosz

All was taken away from you: white dresses,wings, even existence.Yet I believe you,messengers. There, where the world is turned inside out,a heavy fabric embroidered with stars ...

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What Does It Mean by Czeslaw Milosz

What Does It Mean by Czeslaw Milosz

It does not know it glittersIt does not know it fliesIt does not know it is this not that.And, more and more often, agape,With my Gauloise dying out,Over a glass of red wine,I ...

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Study Of Loneliness by Czeslaw Milosz

Study Of Loneliness by Czeslaw Milosz

A guardian of long-distance conduits in the desert? A one-man crew of a fortress in the sand? Whoever he was. At dawn he saw furrowed mountains The color of ashes, above the ...

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In Black Despair by Czeslaw Milosz

In Black Despair by Czeslaw Milosz

In grayish doubt and black despair,I drafted hymns to the earth and the air,pretending to joy, although I lacked it.The age had made lament redundant.So here's the question -- who ...

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Artificer by Czeslaw Milosz

Artificer by Czeslaw Milosz

Burning, he walks in the stream of flickering letters, clarinets,machines throbbing quicker than the heart, lopped-off heads, silkcanvases, and he stops under the skyand raises ...

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A Hall by Czeslaw Milosz

A Hall by Czeslaw Milosz

The road led straight to the temple.Notre Dame, though not Gothic at all.The huge doors were closed. I chose one on the side, Not to the main building-to its left wing, The one ...

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Statue Of A Couple by Czeslaw Milosz

Statue Of A Couple by Czeslaw Milosz

Your hand, my wonder, is now icy cold.The purest light of the celestial domehas burned me through. And now we areas two still plams lying in darlmess,as two black banks of a ...

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Forget by Czeslaw Milosz

Forget by Czeslaw Milosz

Forget the sufferingYou caused others.Forget the sufferingOthers caused you.The waters run and run,Springs sparkle and are done,You walk the earth you are forgetting.Sometimes you ...

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A Felicitous Life by Czeslaw Milosz

A Felicitous Life by Czeslaw Milosz

His old age fell on years of abundant harvest. There were no earthquakes, droughts or floods. It seemed as if the turning of the seasons gained in constancy, Stars waxed strong ...

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A Task by Czeslaw Milosz

A Task by Czeslaw Milosz

In fear and trembling, I think I would fulfill my lifeOnly if I brought myself to make a public confessionRevealing a sham, my own and of my epoch:We were permitted to shriek in ...

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Annalena by Czeslaw Milosz

Annalena by Czeslaw Milosz

It happened that sometimes I kissed in mirrors the reflection of my face, since the hands, face and tears of Annalena had caressed it, it seemed to me divinely beautiful as if ...

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In Warsaw by Czeslaw Milosz

In Warsaw by Czeslaw Milosz

What are you doing here, poet, on the ruinsOf St. John's Cathedral this sunnyDay in spring?What are you thinking here, where the windBlowing from the Vistula scattersThe red dust ...

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Winter by Czeslaw Milosz

Winter by Czeslaw Milosz

The pungent smells of a California winter, Grayness and rosiness, an almost transparent full moon. I add logs to the fire, I drink and I ponder. “In Ilawa,” the news item said, ...

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Raja Rao by Czeslaw Milosz

Raja Rao by Czeslaw Milosz

Raja, I wish I knew the cause of that malady.For years I could not accept the place I was in. I felt I should be somewhere else.A city, trees, human voices lacked the quality of ...

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It Was Winter by Czeslaw Milosz

It Was Winter by Czeslaw Milosz

Winter came as it does in this valley. After eight dry months rain fell And the mountains, straw-colored, turned green for a while. In the canyons where gray laurels Graft their ...

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Sarajevo by Czeslaw Milosz

Sarajevo by Czeslaw Milosz

Now that a revolution really is needed, those who were fervent are quite cool.While a country murdered and raped calls for help from the Europe which it had trusted, they ...

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And The City Stood In Its Brightness by Czeslaw Milosz

And The City Stood In Its Brightness by Czeslaw Milosz

And the city stood in its brightness when years later I returned,And life was running out, Ruteboeuf's or Villon's,Descendants already born were dancing their dances,Women looked ...

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The Rising Of The Sun by Czeslaw Milosz

The Rising Of The Sun by Czeslaw Milosz

I did not expect to live in such an unusual moment.When the God of thunders and of rocky heights,The Lord of hosts, Kyrios Sabaoth,Would humble people to the quick,Allowing them ...

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How It Was by Czeslaw Milosz

How It Was by Czeslaw Milosz

Stalking a deer I wandered deep into the mountains and from there I saw. Or perhaps it was for some other reason that I rose above the setting sun. Above the hills of blackwood ...

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Not Mine by Czeslaw Milosz

Not Mine by Czeslaw Milosz

All my life to pretend this world of theirs is mineAnd to know such pretending is disgraceful.But what can I do? Suppose I suddenly screamedAnd started to prophesy. No one would ...

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Christopher Robin by Czeslaw Milosz

Christopher Robin by Czeslaw Milosz

I must think suddenly of matters too difficult for a bear of little brain. I have never asked myself what lies beyond the place where we live, I and Rabbit, Piglet and Eeyore, ...

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Woe! by Czeslaw Milosz

Woe! by Czeslaw Milosz

It is true, our tribe is similar to the bees, It gathers honey of wisdom, carries it, stores it in honeycombs.I am able to roam for hoursThrough the labyrinth of the main library, ...

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You Whose Name by Czeslaw Milosz

You Whose Name by Czeslaw Milosz

You whose name is aggressor and devourer. Putrid and sultry, in fermentation. You mash into pulp sages and prophets, Criminals and heroes, indifferently. My vocativus is useless. ...

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You Who Wronged by Czeslaw Milosz

You Who Wronged by Czeslaw Milosz

You who wronged a simple man Bursting into laughter at the crime, And kept a pack of fools around you To mix good and evil, to blur the line, Though everyone bowed down before ...

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Where The Sun Rises And Where It Sets by Czeslaw Milosz

Where The Sun Rises And Where It Sets by Czeslaw Milosz

Once, when returning from far TransylvaniaThrough mountain forests, rocks, and Carpathian ridges,Halting by a ford at the close of day(My companions had sent me ahead to lookFor ...

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