Czeslaw Milosz

(30 June 1911 – 14 August 2004 / Kedainiai)

Hope - Poem by Czeslaw Milosz

Hope is with you when you believe
The earth is not a dream but living flesh,
that sight, touch, and hearing do not lie,
That all thing you have ever seen here
Are like a garden looked at from a gate.

You cannot enter. But you're sure it's there.
Could we but look more clearly and wisely
We might discover somewhere in the garden
A strange new flower and an unnamed star.

Some people say that we should not trust our eyes,
That there is nothing, just a seeming,
There are the ones who have no hope.
They think the moment we turn away,
The world, behind our backs, ceases to exist,
As if snatched up by the hand of thieves.


Comments about Hope by Czeslaw Milosz

  • Anil Kumar Panda (6/1/2017 8:38:00 PM)


    Very positive poem. One should see the world as a beautiful garden where flowers colors bloom in abundance and there is peace and happiness.

    'We might discover somewhere in the garden
    A strange new flower and an unnamed star.'

    is very nice. Thanks for sharing.
    (Report) Reply

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  • Glen Kappy (6/1/2017 6:42:00 PM)


    i hadn't seen this poem before.

    some housekeeping first. it looks to me like the third line, like all the rest, should begin with an upper case letter. and the twelfth line should begin with they instead of there.

    milosz is the editor of one of my favorite poetry anthologies, a book of luminous things.

    and hope is a worthy subject. years ago, hearing an interview with the dalai lama, this came to me- hope is one of the basic food groups.

    i like how milosz shows that hope can be based, is largely based, in what is seen. if you're reading this and would care to look, i have a lighter even briefer poem along these lines, faith of a feline.

    gk
    (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (6/1/2017 2:24:00 PM)


    When you believe! ! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • (6/1/2017 9:13:00 AM)


    Everything lies in hope and this poem is so interesting. (Report) Reply

  • Lantz Pierre (6/1/2017 4:15:00 AM)


    Milosz was a man of great intellect and depth of feeling. He understood suffering and injustice and was unusually talented in his ability to convey it in his writing. Much of work has a feeling of estrangement and the melancholy that results from such separation. I wonder if this poem isn't motivated by his feelings, his own fears, that the world he hopes for remains beyond our collective grasp. The first two stanzas address his hopes and beliefs, but they are held at arms length, separate and intangible except in the mind. And then in the third stanzas he accuses others of being the deniers, the ones without hope. But if those people do not trust their eyes, what do they trust? Their thoughts that even their ethereal ideations of what seems to be can be robbed from them. And then who would they imagine those thieves to be? As if it could be none other than themselves. Hope is a fragile thing here. A star that cannot be anywhere but in the heavens, and if we can but isolate it and name it, it can be ours and we can own it. The substance of hope is something that lies beyond the surface of its appearance. At least that's what I think Milosz is trying to convey in this poem of apparent lightness but invested with a density of, of what? Human longing and hope? (Report) Reply

  • Pranab K Chakraborty (6/1/2017 3:53:00 AM)


    The world, behind our backs, ceases to exist,
    As if snatched up by the hand of thieves............................. Nice ending. Observation and exposition uniquely blended. Thanks.
    (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (6/1/2017 3:44:00 AM)


    Somewhere in the garden.....thanks for posting..... (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (6/1/2017 3:26:00 AM)


    The poem answers the doubts of skeptics who think 'That there is nothing, just a seeming'. Thanks.
    Hope is with you when you believe
    The earth is not a dream but living flesh,
    We might discover.... A strange new flower and an unnamed star.
    (Report) Reply

  • Rahman Henry (6/1/2017 3:00:00 AM)


    Perfectly wonderful poem, in fact. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, March 23, 2012



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