Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Milosz in the Post

Two poems and a brief remembrance of Czeslay Milosz From the Washington Post's Poet's Corner in Book World. These poems are celebrations of humanity, and of a life lived without illusion. The first, Confession, begins:
My Lord, I loved strawberry jam
And the dark sweetness of a woman's body.

it continues:
Who would have trusted me? For they saw
How I empty glasses, throw myself on food,
And glance greedily at the waitress's neck.
Flawed and aware of it...

Hirsch says:
His poetry was fueled by suffering but informed by moments of unexpected happiness. He understood the cruelty of nature and yet remembered that the earth merits our affection.

He thought deeply about the rise and fall of civilizations, and he praised the simple marvels of the earth, the sky and the sea. "There is so much death," he wrote in "Counsels," "and that is why affection/ for pigtails, bright-colored skirts in the wind,/ for paper boats no more durable than we are."

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