Czeslaw Milosz

(30 June 1911 – 14 August 2004 / Kedainiai)

On Prayer


You ask me how to pray to someone who is not.
All I know is that prayer constructs a velvet bridge
And walking it we are aloft, as on a springboard,
Above landscapes the color of ripe gold
Transformed by a magic stopping of the sun.
That bridge leads to the shore of Reversal
Where everything is just the opposite and the word 'is'
Unveils a meaning we hardly envisioned.
Notice: I say we; there, every one, separately,
Feels compassion for others entangled in the flesh
And knows that if there is no other shore
We will walk that aerial bridge all the same.

Submitted: Thursday, January 08, 2004
Edited: Wednesday, March 17, 2010

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  • Rookie Marilyn Hochfield (3/12/2009 6:20:00 PM)

    Wonderful poem, and thanks to Robert Hass, so fine a poet himself, who has given us English speakers so much of the great Milosz. (Report) Reply

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