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My Sovereignty

自由的精神就是对自己是否正确不是很有把握的精神。——哈耶克

 
 
 

日志

 
 

Czeslaw Milosz  

2014-10-22 11:30:08|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Not that I want to be a god or a hero. Just to change into a tree, grow for ages, not hurt anyone. 

In a room where
people unanimously maintain
a conspiracy of silence,
one word of truth
sounds like a pistol shot. 

To believe you are magnificent. And gradually to discover that you are not magnificent. Enough labor for one human life. 

The purpose of poetry is to remind us
how difficult it is to remain just one person,
for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors, 
and invisible guests come in and out at will.

Yet falling in love is not the same as being able to love. 

Religion used to be the opium of the people. To those suffering humiliation, pain, illness, and serfdom, religion promised the reward of an after life. But now, we are witnessing a transformation, a true opium of the people is the belief in nothingness after death, the huge solace, the huge comfort of thinking that for our betrayals, our greed, our cowardice, our murders, we are not going to be judged.

Language is the only homeland. 

The living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story for them. 

Calm down. Both your sins and your good deeds will be lost in oblivion.

When a writer is born into a family, the family is finished.
 
The voice of passion is better than the voice of reason. The passionless cannot change history.
 
I was not meant to live anywhere except in Paradise.
Such, simply, was my genetic inadaptation.
Here on earth every prick of a rose-thorn changed into a wound. When the sun hid behind a cloud, I grieved.
I pretended to work like others from morning to evening, but I was absent, dedicated to invisible countries.

The history of my stupidity would fill many volumes.
 
The purpose of poetry is to remind us / how difficult it is to remain just one person...

The true enemy of man is generalization.

I have defined poetry as a passionate pursuit of the Real.

It is sweet to think I was a companion in an expedition that never ends.

All of us yearn for the highest wisdom, but we have to rely on ourselves in the end.

He returns years later, has no demands.
He wants only one, most precious thing:
To see, purely and simply, without name,
Without expectations, fears, or hopes,
At the edge where there is no I or not-I.

Irony is the glory of slaves.

You who think of us: they lived only in delusion... Know that we the People of the Book, will never die!

Men will clutch at illusions when they have nothing else to hold to.

I am composed of contradictions, which is why poetry is a better form for me than philosophy.

All was taken away from you: white dresses, wings, even existence.

It is impossible to communicate to people who have not experienced it the undefinable menace of total rationalism.

When, as my friend suggested, I stand before Zeus (whether I die naturally, or under sentence of History)I will repeat all this that I have written as my defense.Many people spend their entire lives collecting stamps or old coins, or growing tulips. I am sure that Zius will be merciful toward people who have given themselves entirely to these hobbies, even though they are only amusing and pointless diversions. I shall say to him : "It is not my fault that you made me a poet, and that you gave me the gift of seeing simultaneously what was happening in Omaha and Prague, in the Baltic states and on the shores of the Arctic Ocean.I felt that if I did not use that gift my poetry would be tasteless to me and fame detestable. Forgive me." And perhaps Zeus, who does not call stamp-collectors and tulip-growers silly, will forgive. 

The worst possible sexual education: a taboo imposed by the Catholic church plus romantic literature elevating love to unreal heights plus the obscene language of my peers. After all, I was nearly born in the nineteenth century, and I have no tender feelings for it.

And when people cease to believe that there is good and evil,
Only beauty will call to them and save them
So that they will know how to say: this is true and that is false.


The work of human thought should withstand the test of brutal, naked reality. If it cannot, it is worthless. Probably only those things are worthwhile which can preserve their validity in the eyes of a man threatened with instant death.

I am not my own friend. Time cuts me in two. 

Not soon, as late as the approach of my ninetieth year, I felt a door opening in me and I entered the clarity of early morning. 

One after another my former lives were departing, like ships, together with their sorrow. 

Since poetry deals with the singular, not the general, it cannot - if it is good poetry - look at things of this earth other than as colorful, variegated, and exciting, and so, it cannot reduce life, with all its pain, horror, suffering, and ecstasy, to a unified tonality of boredom and complaint. By necessity poetry is therefore on the side of being and against nothingness.
 
The divinization of Man, when one abhors the order of the world as essentially evil, is a risky and self-contradictory venture.

In the very essence of poetry there is something indecent; A thing brought forth that we didn't know we had in us, So we blink our eyes, as if a tiger had sprung out and stood in the light, licking its tail.
 
If there is no God,
Not everything is permitted to man.
He is still his brother's keeper
And he is not permitted to sadden his brother,
By saying there is no God.

She got out at Raspail. I was left behind with the immensity of existing things. A sponge, suffering because it cannot saturate itself; a river, suffering because reflections of clouds and trees are not clouds and trees. (Esse)

The world deprived of clear-cut outlines, of the up and the down, of good and evil, succumbs to a peculiar nihilization, that is, it loses its colors, so that grayness covers not only things of this earth and of space, but also the very flow of time, its minutes, days and years. Abstract considerations will be of little help, even if they are intended to bring relief. Poetry is quite different. By its very nature it says: All those theories are untrue. Since poetry deals with the singular, not the general, it can't - if it is good poetry - look at things of this earth other than as colorful, variegated, and exciting, and so, it cannot reduce life, with all its pain, horror, suffering, and ecstasy, to a unified tonality of boredom or complaint. By necessity poetry is therefore on the side of being and against nothingness. 
The real, by which I mean God, continues to remain unfathomable.

Only the ridiculous is remembered by posterity.
Death from a wound, from a noose, from starvation
Is one death, but folly is uncounted and new every year.

Human material seems to have one major defect: it does not like to be considered merely as human material. It finds it hard to endure the feeling that it must resign itself to passive acceptance of changes introduced from above.

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