Sunday, December 26, 2010

Selected Poems: 1931-2004
Selected Poems: 1931-2004

"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 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."
- from Incantation, 1968 (p 87)

His poetry runs the gamut of feeling and thought, of nature and man, of beauty and the truth of poetry. The author of The Captive Mind, a great statement about the effects of totalitarianism, Czeslaw Milosz is even better when his daimon inspires him to write poetry. This selection covers his work over more than seven decades beginning with his early days in Poland, underground during the War, and beyond into his time in America. His survival, overcoming the ordeal of war and suppression gives his poetry a nobility that seems palpable on every page.

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Parrish Lantern said...

Found this via the linkin thingy. Love this writers work & have always meant to do something with him on my blog. Thanks for the reminder.

James said...

Thanks for your comment. Milosz is both a great poet and essayist. Inspirational for me.