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Monday, August 30, 2010

An Hour

(Trees and Undergrowth, Paris, Summer 1887, by Vincent
van Gogh, 1853-1890, Dutch Post-Impressionist painter)

Czeslaw Milosz was an eloquent witness of history, who testified in his poetry to the totalitarian “isms” that plundered through his homeland of Poland in the twentieth century. He also wrote of his search, “after a day of varied activities, to feel at dawn my oneness with remembered people, despite a thought about my person separated from others.”


Leaves glowing in the sun, zealous hum of bumblebees,
From afar, from somewhere beyond the river, echoes of lingering voices
And the unhurried sounds of a hammer gave joy not only to me.
They waited, ready, for all those who would call themselves mortals,
So that they might praise, as I do, life, that is, happiness.

~ Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004), Polish poet, essayist, and translator, and winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize in Literature

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