You see how I try To reach with words What matters most And how I fail. — Czesław Miłosz, from “A Photograph”, New and Collected Poems (1931-2001), translated by Robert Hass
I keep quiet as is properFor a man who has learned that the human heartHolds more than speech does. — Czesław Miłosz, from “Greek Portrait,” Selected Poems (Ecco Press, 1981)
Do you know how it is when one wakes at night suddenly and asks, listening to the pounding heart: what more do you want, insatiable? — Czeslaw Milosz, from “Farewell” (1945). New and Collected Poems (1931 – 2001) Ecco; Reprint edition (March 25, 2003) Originally published January 1st 2001.
We are an echo that runs, skittering, through a train of rooms. – Czeslaw Milosz, from “The Wormwood Star.” The Separate Notebooks. (Ecco September 21, 1986) Originally published 1984.
Not enough. One life is not enough. I’d like to live twice on this sad planet, In lonely cities, in starved villages, To look at all evil, at the decay of bodies, And probe the laws to which the time was subject, Time that howled above us like a wind. — Czeslaw Milosz, from “Dawns,”… Continue reading Czeslaw Milosz
The Sun All colors come from the sun. And it does not have Any particular color, for it contains them all. And the whole Earth is like a poem While the sun above represents the artist. Whoever wants to paint the variegated world Let him never look straight up at the sun Or he will… Continue reading Czeslaw Milosz
Ars Poetica? I have always aspired to a more spacious form that would be free from the claims of poetry or prose and would let us understand each other without exposing the author or reader to sublime agonies. In the very essence of poetry there is something indecent: a thing… Continue reading Czeslaw Milosz
When it hurts we return to the banks of certain rivers. — Czeslaw Milosz, from “I Sleep A Lot,” The Collected Poems 1931— 1987. (The Ecco Press; First Edition edition 1988)
I don’t want you, don’t tempt me, keep flowing… — Czeslaw Milosz, from “The Song,” The Collected Poems. (Ecco; First Edition edition May 21, 1990)