August 16, 2004

Czeslaw Milosz -- RIP

From The Witness of Poetry:

On the borderline of Rome and Byzantium, Polish poetry became a home for incorrigible hope, immune to historical disasters. Only in appearance does that hope date either from the time when Mozart wrote The Magic Flute or from the Age of Raptures. In reality its roots reach a few centuries further back. It seems to draw its strength from a belief in the basic goodness of the world sustained by the hand of God and by the poetry of country people.

Though he saw more than his fair share of historical disasters, though his prose writings occasionally expressed the desperation of one who can see the shadow of the monster but cannot find the words to warn his fellows of its coming, though he could be a poet of despair -- in the end, Milosz was faithful to his definition of Polish poetry. RIP.

Posted by Ideofact at August 16, 2004 11:56 PM