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Czeslaw Milosz

Datum narození: 30. červen 1911
Datum úmrtí: 14. srpen 2004
Další jména: چسلاو میلوش, Milosh Cheslav, 米禾舒

Czesław Miłosz byl polský básník, esejista a překladatel, nositel Nobelovy ceny za literaturu za rok 1980, nositel ocenění Spravedlivý mezi národy.

„Only if we assume that a poet constantly strives to liberate himself from borrowed styles in search for reality, is he dangerous. In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot.“

—  Czeslaw Milosz

Nobel lecture (8 December 1980)
Kontext: Only if we assume that a poet constantly strives to liberate himself from borrowed styles in search for reality, is he dangerous. In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot. And, alas, a temptation to pronounce it, similar to an acute itching, becomes an obsession which doesn't allow one to think of anything else. That is why a poet chooses internal or external exile. It is not certain, however, that he is motivated exclusively by his concern with actuality. He may also desire to free himself from it and elsewhere, in other countries, on other shores, to recover, at least for short moments, his true vocation — which is to contemplate Being.

„We were permitted to shriek in the tongue of dwarfs and demons
But pure and generous words were forbidden“

—  Czeslaw Milosz

"A Task"
Kontext: We were permitted to shriek in the tongue of dwarfs and demons
But pure and generous words were forbidden
Under so stiff a penalty that whoever dared to pronounce one
Considered himself as a lost man.

„He who invokes history is always secure.
The dead will not rise to witness against him.You can accuse them of any deeds you like.
Their reply will always be silence.“

—  Czeslaw Milosz

"Child of Europe" (1946)
Daylight (1953)
Kontext: He who invokes history is always secure.
The dead will not rise to witness against him.You can accuse them of any deeds you like.
Their reply will always be silence.Their empty faces swim out of the deep dark.
You can fill them with any features desired.Proud of dominion over people long vanished,
Change the past into your own, better likeness.

„Someone will read as moral
That the people of Rome or Warsaw
Haggle, laugh, make love
As they pass by martyrs' pyres.“

—  Czeslaw Milosz

Rescue (1945)
Kontext: Someone will read as moral
That the people of Rome or Warsaw
Haggle, laugh, make love
As they pass by martyrs' pyres.
Someone else will read
Of the passing of things human,
Of the oblivion
Born before the flames have died. But that day I thought only
Of the loneliness of the dying,
Of how, when Giordano
Climbed to his burning
There were no words
In any human tongue
To be left for mankind,
Mankind who live on.

„We are a poor people, much afflicted.“

—  Czeslaw Milosz

"It Was Winter" (1964), trans. Czesław Miłosz, Robert Hass, Robert Pinsky and Renata Gorczynski
Bobo's Metamorphosis (1965)
Kontext: We are a poor people, much afflicted.
We camped under various stars,
Where you dip water with a cup from a muddy river
And slice your bread with a pocketknife.
This is a place accepted, not chosen.

„But precisely because such an analysis of history comes closer to the truth, it is more dangerous. It gives the illusion of full knowledge“

—  Czeslaw Milosz, kniha The Captive Mind

The Captive Mind (1953)
Kontext: Undoubtedly, one comes closer to the truth when one sees history as the expression of the class struggle rather than a series of private quarrels among kings and nobles. But precisely because such an analysis of history comes closer to the truth, it is more dangerous. It gives the illusion of full knowledge; it supplies answers to all questions, answers which merely run around in a circle repeating a few formulas.

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„I think that I am here, on this earth,
To present a report on it, but to whom I don't know.“

—  Czeslaw Milosz

"Consciousness," trans. Czesław Miłosz and Robert Hass
Unattainable Earth (1986)
Kontext: I think that I am here, on this earth,
To present a report on it, but to whom I don't know.
As if I were sent so that whatever takes place
Has meaning because it changes into memory.

„It would be more decorous not to live. To live is not decorous,
Says he who after many years
Returned to the city of his youth.“

—  Czeslaw Milosz

"City of My Youth" (1984)
Kontext: It would be more decorous not to live. To live is not decorous,
Says he who after many years
Returned to the city of his youth. There was no one left
Of those who once walked these streets
And now they had nothing, except his eyes.
Stumbling, he walked and looked, instead of them,
On the light they had loved, on the lilacs again in bloom.

„Leave
To poets a moment of happiness,
Otherwise your world will perish.“

—  Czeslaw Milosz

"In Warsaw" (1945), trans. Czesŀaw Miŀosz, Robert Hass and Madeline Levine
Rescue (1945)
Kontext: How can I live in this country
Where the foot knocks against
The unburied bones of kin?
I hear voices, see smiles. I cannot
Write anything; five hands
Seize my pen and order me to write
The story of their lives and deaths.
Was I born to become
a ritual mourner?
I want to sing of festivities,
The greenwood into which Shakespeare
Often took me. Leave
To poets a moment of happiness,
Otherwise your world will perish.

„And yet the world is different from what it seems to be
and we are other than how we see ourselves in our ravings.“

—  Czeslaw Milosz

"Ars Poetica?"
Kontext: There was a time when only wise books were read
helping us to bear our pain and misery.
This, after all, is not quite the same
as leafing through a thousand works fresh from psychiatric clinics. And yet the world is different from what it seems to be
and we are other than how we see ourselves in our ravings.

„He doesn't know birds live
In another time than man.
He doesn't know a tree lives
In another time than birds“

—  Czeslaw Milosz

"Birth" (1947), trans. Peter Dale Scott
Daylight (1953)
Kontext: He doesn't know birds live
In another time than man.
He doesn't know a tree lives
In another time than birds
And will grow slowly
Upward in a gray column
Thinking with its roots
Of the silver of underworld kingdoms.

„This is a place accepted, not chosen.“

—  Czeslaw Milosz

"It Was Winter" (1964), trans. Czesław Miłosz, Robert Hass, Robert Pinsky and Renata Gorczynski
Bobo's Metamorphosis (1965)
Kontext: We are a poor people, much afflicted.
We camped under various stars,
Where you dip water with a cup from a muddy river
And slice your bread with a pocketknife.
This is a place accepted, not chosen.

„Such seeming nothingness not only lasts but contains within itself enormous energy which is revealed gradually.“

—  Czeslaw Milosz

"If Only This Could Be Said" To Begin Where I Am: Selected Essays by Czesŀaw Miŀosz (2001) edited and translated by Bogdana Carpenter and Madeline G. Levine <!-- publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux -->
Kontext: Evil grows and bears fruit, which is understandable, because it has logic and probability on its side and also, of course, strength. The resistance of tiny kernels of good, to which no one grants the power of causing far-reaching consequences, is entirely mysterious, however. Such seeming nothingness not only lasts but contains within itself enormous energy which is revealed gradually.

„I am only a man: I need visible signs.“

—  Czeslaw Milosz

"Veni Creator" (1961), trans. Czesław Miłosz and Robert Pinsky
City Without a Name (1969)
Kontext: I am only a man: I need visible signs.
I tire easily, building the stairway of abstraction.
Many a time I asked, you know it well, that the statue in church
lift its hand, only once, just once, for me.
But I understand that signs must be human,
therefore call one man, anyone on earth,
not me — after all I have some decency —
and allow me, when I look at him, to marvel at you.

„Love means to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.“

—  Czeslaw Milosz

"The World": Love (1943), trans. Czesŀaw Miŀosz
Rescue (1945)
Kontext: Love means to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills —
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.

„Where is time that both destroys and saves us?“

—  Czeslaw Milosz

"How It Should Be in Heaven" (1986), trans. Czesŀaw Miŀosz and Robert Hass
New Poems (1985-1987)
Kontext: But where is our, dear to us, mortality?
Where is time that both destroys and saves us?
This is too difficult for me. Peace eternal
Could have no mornings and no evenings,
Such a deficiency speaks against it.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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