Monday, March 21, 2011

Aimless Reading: The M's, Part 46 (Czeslaw Milosz)

Milosz, Czeslaw
New and Collected Poems 1931-200
1

I think I bought this at a remaindered bookstore, or maybe online. It was an impulse purchase. I don't recall the source of the impulse. It didn't last much beyond the purchase of the book, as I have read only a few poems from it.

I think my friend, P., who I described at some length a few weeks back, may have been reading Milosz and recommended him to me. P. is a much harsher critic of art and literature than I am. He generally dislikes most of what he reads or see, whereas I generally like some aspect of most things I encounter.

When he recommends a book or film, I often find it worthwhile to check it out. I guess that wasn't the case here. I don't know. I really have no memory of reading this at all, so maybe I never read any of it.

from New and Collected Poems 1931-2001

The Gate

Later dense hops will cover it completely.
As for now, it has the color
That lily pads have in very deep water
When you pluck them in the light of a summer evening.

The pickets are painted white at the top.
White and sharp, like tiny flames.
Strange that this never bothered the birds.
Even a wiled pigeon once perched there.

The handle is of wood worn smooth over time,
Polished by the touch of many hands.
Nettles like to steal under the handle
And a yellow jasmine here is a tiny lantern.

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