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Dedication

You whom I could not

Listen to me.

Try to understand this simple speech as I would be ashamed of another.

I swear, there is in me no wizardry of words.

I speak to you with silence like a cloud or a tree.

What strengthened me, for you was lethal.

You mixed up farewell to an epoch with the beginning of a new one,

Inspiration of hatred with lyrical beauty,

Blind force with accomplished shape.

Here is the valley of shallow Polish rivers.

And an immense

Going into white fog.

Here is a broken city,

And the wind throws the screams of gulls on your

When I am talking with you.

What is poetry which does not

Nations or people?

A connivance with official lies,

A song of drunkards whose throats will be cut in a moment,

Readings for sophomore girls.

That I wanted good poetry without knowing it,

That I discovered, late, its salutary aim,

In this and only this I find salvation.

They used to pour millet on graves or poppy

To feed the dead who would come disguised as birds.

I put this book here for you, who once

So that you should visit us no more.

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Czeslaw Milosz

Czesław Miłosz (30 June 1911 – 14 August 2004) was a Polish-American poet, prose writer, translator, and diplomat. Regarded as one of the great …

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