Conversation With Jeanne Poem by Czeslaw Milosz

Conversation With Jeanne

Rating: 3.5

Let us not talk philosophy, drop it, Jeanne.
So many words, so much paper, who can stand it.
I told you the truth about my distancing myself.
I've stopped worrying about my misshapen life.
It was no better and no worse than the usual human tragedies.

For over thirty years we have been waging our dispute
As we do now, on the island under the skies of the tropics.
We flee a downpour, in an instant the bright sun again,
And I grow dumb, dazzled by the emerald essence of the leaves.

We submerge in foam at the line of the surf,
We swim far, to where the horizon is a tangle of banana bush,
With little windmills of palms.
And I am under accusation: That I am not up to my oeuvre,
That I do not demand enough from myself,
As I could have learned from Karl Jaspers,
That my scorn for the opinions of this age grows slack.

I roll on a wave and look at white clouds.

You are right, Jeanne, I don't know how to care about the salvation of my soul.
Some are called, others manage as well as they can.
I accept it, what has befallen me is just.
I don't pretend to the dignity of a wise old age.
Untranslatable into words, I chose my home in what is now,
In things of this world, which exist and, for that reason, delight us:
Nakedness of women on the beach, coppery cones of their breasts,
Hibiscus, alamanda, a red lily, devouring
With my eyes, lips, tongue, the guava juice, the juice of la prune de Cythère,
Rum with ice and syrup, lianas-orchids
In a rain forest, where trees stand on the stilts of their roots.

Death, you say, mine and yours, closer and closer,
We suffered and this poor earth was not enough.
The purple-black earth of vegetable gardens
Will be here, either looked at or not.
The sea, as today, will breathe from its depths.
Growing small, I disappear in the immense, more and more free.

Sylvia Frances Chan 16 January 2024

One Most Important Note in his Bio: In 1980 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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Sylvia Frances Chan 16 January 2024

Most deserving poem chosen by Poem Hunter And Team as The Modern Poem Of The Day.

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Sylvia Frances Chan 16 January 2024

Most deserving poem! He is very important in the history of poetry in USA and in his native country.

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Prasanna Kumari 16 January 2024

A whole lot of things are described here filled with emotions bringing out life's myriad conditions and situations with smooth flow of words

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Sylvia Frances Chan 05 March 2024

I always do my utmost best to give good responses. So number ONE In this poem the speaker engages in a dialogue with Jeanne, exploring themes related to life, existence, and spirituality..

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Sylvia Frances Chan 05 March 2024

SEVEN: The poem's conversational tone, direct language, and focus on sensory experiences contribute to its unique style and depth. It invites readers to contemplate existence beyond abstract theories and appreciate the richness of the prese

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Sylvia Frances Chan 05 March 2024

SIX: The poem alludes to mortality and the closeness of death. Despite suffering, the speaker accepts their fate. They embrace the vastness of existence, disappearing into the immense and becoming more and more free.

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Sylvia Frances Chan 05 March 2024

FIVE: The poem reflects skepticism toward overarching narratives or ultimate meanings. The speaker doesn't pretend to seek salvation for their soul or demand too much from themselves. Instead, they find solace in the simple pleasures of life.

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Sylvia Frances Chan 05 March 2024

FOUR: They appreciate the beauty in everyday things, such as the nakedness of women on the beach, tropical fruits, and the emerald essence of leaves.

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Sylvia Frances Chan 05 March 2024

THREE: Rather than engaging in abstract philosophical discussions, the speaker focuses on the tangible experiences of the present moment.

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