Czeslaw Milosz

(30 June 1911 – 14 August 2004 / Kedainiai)

My Faithful Mother Tongue


Faithful mother tongue,
I have been serving you.
Every night, I used to set before you little bowls of colors
so you could have your birch, your cricket, your finch
as preserved in my memory.

This lasted many years.
You were my native land; I lacked any other.
I believed that you would also be a messenger
between me and some good people
even if they were few, twenty, ten
or not born, as yet.

Now, I confess my doubt.
There are moments when it seems to me I have squandered my life.
For you are a tongue of the debased,
of the unreasonable, hating themselves
even more than they hate other nations,
a tongue of informers,
a tongue of the confused,
ill with their own innocence.

But without you, who am I?
Only a scholar in a distant country,
a success, without fears and humiliations.
Yes, who am I without you?
Just a philosopher, like everyone else.

I understand, this is meant as my education:
the glory of individuality is taken away,
Fortune spreads a red carpet
before the sinner in a morality play
while on the linen backdropp a magic lantern throws
images of human and divine torture.

Faithful mother tongue,
perhaps after all it's I who must try to save you.
So I will continue to set before you little bowls of colors
bright and pure if possible,
for what is needed in misfortune is a little order and beauty.

Submitted: Friday, March 23, 2012

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (My Faithful Mother Tongue by Czeslaw Milosz )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Alone, Maya Angelou
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  6. Jiske Dhun Par Duniya Nache, Kumar Vishwas
  7. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  8. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  9. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. Bright Star, John Keats

Poem of the Day

poet Alfred Edward Housman

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. Forgiveness, Eugene Latumbo
  2. Wrapping Paper, Bows, and You, Nika McGuin
  3. The imperfect world, Cyrus Shaftang
  4. Marriage, Marlin Nightingale
  5. Ruins الاطلال, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  6. Your eyes, Leong Ming Loong
  7. Studentship., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  8. Knowing the Truth, Nika McGuin
  9. I write, Nassy Fesharaki
  10. Assuredly بالتأكيد, MOHAMMAD SKATI
[Hata Bildir]