Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership



Best Famous Czeslaw Milosz Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Czeslaw Milosz poems. This is a select list of the best famous Czeslaw Milosz poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Czeslaw Milosz poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Czeslaw Milosz poems.

Search for the best famous Czeslaw Milosz poems, articles about Czeslaw Milosz poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Czeslaw Milosz poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See also:

Famous poems below this ad
Written by Czeslaw Milosz | |

Song on the End of the World

 On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A Fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea, By the rainspout young sparrows are playing And the snake is gold-skinned as it it should always be.
On the day the world ends Women walk through fields under their umbrellas A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn, Vegetable peddlers shout in the street And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island, The voice of a violin lasts in the air And leads into a starry night.
And those who expected lightning and thunder Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and archangels' trumps Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above, As long as the bumblebee visits a rose As long as rosy infants are born No one believes it is happening now.
Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet, Yet is not a prophet, for he's much too busy, Repeats while he binds his tomatoes: No other end of the world there will be, No other end of the world there will be.


Written by Czeslaw Milosz | |

Forget

 Forget the suffering
You caused others.
Forget the suffering Others caused you.
The waters run and run, Springs sparkle and are done, You walk the earth you are forgetting.
Sometimes you hear a distant refrain.
What does it mean, you ask, who is singing? A childlike sun grows warm.
A grandson and a great-grandson are born.
You are led by the hand once again.
The names of the rivers remain with you.
How endless those rivers seem! Your fields lie fallow, The city towers are not as they were.
You stand at the threshold mute.


Written by Czeslaw Milosz | |

Lake

 Maidenly lake, fathomless lake,
Stay as you were once, overgrown with rushes,
Idling with a reflected cloud, for my sake
Whom your shore no longer touches.
Your girl was always real to me.
Her bones lie in a city by the sea.
Everything occurs too normally.
A unique love simply wears away.
Girl, hey, girl, we repose in an abyss.
The base of a skull, a rib, a pelvis, Is it you? me? We are more than this.
No clock counts hours and years for us.
How could a creature, ephemeral, eternal, Measure for me necessity and fate? You are locked with me in a letter-crystal.
No matter that you're not a living maid.


More great poems below...

Written by Czeslaw Milosz | |

Unde Malum

 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 this way
the depth of your optimism
so let man exterminate
his own species
the innocent sunrise will illuminate
a liberated flora and fauna
where oak forests reclaim
the postindustrial wasteland
and the blood of a deer
torn asunder by a pack of wolves
is not seen by anyone
a hawk falls upon a hare
without witness
evil disappears from the world
and consciousness with it
Of course, dear Tadeusz,
evil (and good) comes from man.


Written by Czeslaw Milosz | |

Love

 Love means to learn to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart, Without knowing it, from various ills— A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.
Then he wants to use himself and things So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
It doesn’t matter whether he knows what he serves: Who serves best doesn’t always understand.


Written by Czeslaw Milosz | |

On Angels

 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 and beasts, you stroll, inspecting the trustworthy seems.
Shorts is your stay here: now and then at a matinal hour, if the sky is clear, in a melody repeated by a bird, or in the smell of apples at close of day when the light makes the orchards magic.
They say somebody has invented you but to me this does not sound convincing for the humans invented themselves as well.
The voice -- no doubt it is a valid proof, as it can belong only to radiant creatures, weightless and winged (after all, why not?), girdled with the lightening.
I have heard that voice many a time when asleep and, what is strange, I understood more or less an order or an appeal in an unearthly tongue: day draw near another one do what you can.


Written by Czeslaw Milosz | |

Dedication

 You whom I could not save
Listen 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 silence like a cloud or a tree.
What strengthened me, for you was lethal.
You mixed up farewell to an epoch with the beginning of a new one, Inspiration of hatred with lyrical beauty, Blind force with accomplished shape.
Here is the valley of shallow Polish rivers.
And an immense bridge Going into white fog.
Here is a broken city, And the wind throws the screams of gulls on your grave When I am talking with you.
What is poetry which does not save Nations or people? A connivance with official lies, A song of drunkards whose throats will be cut in a moment, Readings for sophomore girls.
That I wanted good poetry without knowing it, That I discovered, late, its salutary aim, In this and only this I find salvation.
They used to pour millet on graves or poppy seeds To feed the dead who would come disguised as birds.
I put this book here for you, who once lived So that you should visit us no more.


Written by Czeslaw Milosz | |

Father Explains

 "There where that ray touches the plain
And 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 of rain hang from a little cloud, Under the hills with an acacia grove Is Prague.
Above it, a marvelous castle Shored against a slope in accordance with old rules.
"What divides this land with white foam Is the Alps.
The black means fir forests.
Beyond them, bathing in the yellow sun Italy lies, like a deep-blue dish.
"Among the many fine cities that are there You will recogni2e Rome, Christendom's capital, By those round roofs on the church Called the Basilica of Saint Peter.
"And there, to the north, beyond a bay, Where a level bluish mist moves in waves, Paris tries to keep pace with its tower And reins in its herd of bridges.
"Also other cities accompany Paris, They are adorned with glass, arrayed in iron, But for today that would be too much, I'll tell the rest another time


Written by Czeslaw Milosz | |

A Task

 In fear and trembling, I think I would fulfill my life
Only if I brought myself to make a public confession
Revealing a sham, my own and of my epoch:
We were permitted to shriek in the tongue of dwarfs and
 demons
But pure and generous words were forbidden
Under so stiff a penalty that whoever dared to pronounce one
Considered himself as a lost man.


Written by 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 is brought forth which we didn't know we had in us, so we blink our eyes, as if a tiger had sprung out and stood in the light, lashing his tail.
That's why poetry is rightly said to be dictated by a daimonion, though its an exaggeration to maintain that he must be an angel.
It's hard to guess where that pride of poets comes from, when so often they're put to shame by the disclosure of their frailty.
What reasonable man would like to be a city of demons, who behave as if they were at home, speak in many tongues, and who, not satisfied with stealing his lips or hand, work at changing his destiny for their convenience? It's true that what is morbid is highly valued today, and so you may think that I am only joking or that I've devised just one more means of praising Art with thehelp of irony.
There was a time when only wise books were read helping us to bear our pain and misery.
This, after all, is not quite the same as leafing through a thousand works fresh from psychiatric clinics.
And yet the world is different from what it seems to be and we are other than how we see ourselves in our ravings.
People therefore preserve silent integrity thus earning the respect of their relatives and neighbors.
The purpose of poetry is to remind us how difficult it is to remain just one person, for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors, and invisible guests come in and out at will.
What I'm saying here is not, I agree, poetry, as poems should be written rarely and reluctantly, under unbearable duress and only with the hope that good spirits, not evil ones, choose us for their instrument.


Written by Czeslaw Milosz | |

Campo di Fiori

 In Rome on the Campo di Fiori
Baskets of olives and lemons,
Cobbles spattered with wine
And the wreckage of flowers.
Vendors cover the trestles With rose-pink fish; Armfuls of dark grapes Heaped on peach-down.
On this same square They burned Giordano Bruno.
Henchmen kindled the pyre Close-pressed by the mob.
Before the flames had died The taverns were full again, Baskets of olives and lemons Again on the vendors' shoulders.
I thought of the Campo dei Fiori In Warsaw by the sky-carousel One clear spring evening To the strains of a carnival tune.
The bright melody drowned The salvos from the ghetto wall, And couples were flying High in the cloudless sky.
At times wind from the burning Would driff dark kites along And riders on the carousel Caught petals in midair.
That same hot wind Blew open the skirts of the girls And the crowds were laughing On that beautiful Warsaw Sunday.
Someone will read as moral That the people of Rome or Warsaw Haggle, laugh, make love As they pass by martyrs' pyres.
Someone else will read Of the passing of things human, Of the oblivion Born before the flames have died.
But that day I thought only Of the loneliness of the dying, Of how, when Giordano Climbed to his burning There were no words In any human tongue To be left for mankind, Mankind who live on.
Already they were back at their wine Or peddled their white starfish, Baskets of olives and lemons They had shouldered to the fair, And he already distanced As if centuries had passed While they paused just a moment For his flying in the fire.
Those dying here, the lonely Forgotten by the world, Our tongue becomes for them The language of an ancient planet.
Until, when all is legend And many years have passed, On a great Campo dci Fiori Rage will kindle at a poet's word.


Written by Czeslaw Milosz | |

Meaning

 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 incomprehensible will be comprehended.
- And if there is no lining to the world? If a thrush on a branch is not a sign, But just a thrush on the branch? If night and day Make no sense following each other? And on this earth there is nothing except this earth? - Even if that is so, there will remain A word wakened by lips that perish, A tireless messenger who runs and runs Through interstellar fields, through the revolving galaxies, And calls out, protests, screams.


Written by Czeslaw Milosz | |

Incantation

 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 language, And guides our hand so we write Truth and Justice With capital letters, lie and oppression with small.
It puts what should be above things as they are, Is an enemy of despair and a friend of hope.
It does not know Jew from Greek or slave from master, Giving us the estate of the world to manage.
It saves austere and transparent phrases From the filthy discord of tortured words.
It says that everything is new under the sun, Opens the congealed fist of the past.
Beautiful and very young are Philo-Sophia And poetry, her ally in the service of the good.
As late as yesterday Nature celebrated their birth, The news was brought to the mountains by a unicorn and an echo.
Their friendship will be glorious, their time has no limit.
Their enemies have delivered themselves to destruction.


Written by Czeslaw Milosz | |

At a Certain Age

 We wanted to confess our sins but there were no takers.
White clouds refused to accept them, and the wind Was too busy visiting sea after sea.
We did not succeed in interesting the animals.
Dogs, disappointed, expected an order, A cat, as always immoral, was falling asleep.
A person seemingly very close Did not care to hear of things long past.
Conversations with friends over vodka or coffee Ought not be prolonged beyond the first sign of boredom.
It would be humiliating to pay by the hour A man with a diploma, just for listening.
Churches.
Perhaps churches.
But to confess there what? That we used to see ourselves as handsome and noble Yet later in our place an ugly toad Half-opens its thick eyelid And one sees clearly: "That's me.
"


Written by Czeslaw Milosz | |

Not Mine

 All my life to pretend this world of theirs is mine
And to know such pretending is disgraceful.
But what can I do? Suppose I suddenly screamed And started to prophesy.
No one would hear me.
Their screens and microphones are not for that.
Others like me wander the streets And talk to themselves.
Sleep on benches in parks, Or on pavements in alleys.
For there aren't enough prisons To lock up all the poor.
I smile and keep quiet.
They won't get me now.
To feast with the chosen—that I do well.