Saturday, February 17, 2007

Quote of the day, 2/17/07

A Confession

My Lord, I loved strawberry jam
And the dark sweetness of a woman's body.
Also well-chilled vodka, herring in olive oil,
Scents, of cinnamon, of cloves.
So what kind of prophet am I? Why should the spirit
Have visited such a man? Many others
Were justly called, and trustworthy.
Who would have trusted me? For they saw
How I empty glasses, throw myself on food,
And glance greedily at the waitress's neck.
Flawed and aware of it. Desiring greatness,
Able to recognize greatness wherever it is,
And yet not quite, only in part, clairvoyant,
I knew what was left for smaller men like me:
A feast of brief hopes, a rally of the proud,
A tournament of hunchbacks, literature.

--Czeslaw Milosz


little light said...

Yes. God-damn.

fastlad said...

Seamus Heaney writes the following in his introduction to Milosz's Selected poems:

"...he developed a fierce conviction about the holy force of his art, how poetry was called upon to combat death and nothingness, to be "A tireless messenger who runs and runs/Through interstellar fields, through the revolving galaxies,/And calls out, protests, screams..."