Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday Verse

Another poem to go along with Bloodlands:  Czeslaw Milosz was a Lithuanian/Polish poet who survived the Nazi occupation of Warsaw and, after the war, worked as a cultural attache to the (Soviet-controlled) People's Republic of Poland in Paris.  He defected to France in 1951.  

A Task
by Czeslaw Milosz

In fear and trembling, I think I would fulfill my life
Only if I brought myself to make a public confession
Revealing a sham, my own and of my epoch:
We were permitted to shriek in the tongue of dwarfs and
But pure and generous words were forbidden
Under so stiff a penalty that whoever dared to pronounce one
Considered himself as a lost man.

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