Czeslaw Milosz

(30 June 1911 – 14 August 2004 / Kedainiai)

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.


Translated by Robert Hass

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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