First, plain speech in the mother tongue.
Hearing it, you should be able to see
Apple trees, a river, the bend of a road,
As if in a flash of summer lightning.
And it should contain more than images.
It has been lured by singsong,
A daydream, melody. Defenseless,
It was bypassed by the sharp, dry world.
You often ask yourself why you feel shame
Whenever you look through a book of poetry.
As if the author, for reasons unclear to you,
Addressed the worse side of your nature,
Pushing aside thought, cheating thought.
Seasoned with jokes, clowning, satire,
Poetry still knows how to please.
Then its excellence is much admired.
But the grave combats where life is at stake
Are fought in prose. It was not always so.
And our regret has remained unconfessed.
Novels and essays serve but will not last.
One clear stanza can take more weight
Than a whole wagon of elaborate prose.
Czeslaw Milosz's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (Preface by Czeslaw Milosz )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(13 February 1879 - 2 March 1949)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi
(1207 - 1273)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
Harivansh Rai Bachchan
(27 November 1907 – 18 January 2003)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
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