Czeslaw Milosz

(30 June 1911 – 14 August 2004 / Kedainiai)

Study Of Loneliness


A guardian of long-distance conduits in the desert?
A one-man crew of a fortress in the sand?
Whoever he was. At dawn he saw furrowed mountains
The color of ashes, above the melting darkness,
Saturated with violet, breaking into fluid rouge,
Till they stood, immense, in the orange light.
Day after day. And, before he noticed, year after year.
For whom, he thought, that splendor? For me alone?
Yet it will be here long after I perish.
What is it in the eye of a lizard? Or when seen by a migrant bird?
If I am all mankind, are they themselves without me?
And he knew there was no use crying out, for none of them would save him.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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