Love by Czeslaw Milosz . Love means to learn to look at yourself The way one looks at distant things For you are only one thing among many. And whoever sees that way heals his heart, Without knowing it, from various ills— A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.
Then he wants to use himself and things So that they stand in the glow of ripeness. It doesn’t matter whether he knows what he serves: Who serves best doesn’t always understand.
The Call (From the "Middle Night Poems") . 1963Which a sonata will you be Hidden by me in – with a care? How uneasily, for me Will call you, utterly unfair Because so close and so good You were for me, tho’ for a moment… Your dream – dissolving in a solvent, Where death – just levy to the mute.
Morning trickles over the bruised vegetables like a drop of sweat over the lines of my hand I crawl over the ground with stem and wrinkled mouth the sun swells into the canals of monstrous leaves which recover cemeteries harbours houses with the same sticky green zeal then with disturbing intensity there passes through my mind the absurdity of human groupings in these lines of closely packed houses like the pores of the skin in the poignant void of terrestrial space I hear the crying of birds of whom it used to be said that they sang and implacable resembled stones I see flocks of houses munching the pith of the air factories which sing as birds once sang roads which lose themselves in harvests of salt pieces of sky which become dry on verdigris moss a pulley's creaking tells us that a bucket rises in a well it is full of limpid blood which evaporates in the sun nothing else will trouble this circuit on the ground until evening which trembles under the form of an immense pinned butterfly at the entrance of a motionless station.
Where it says snow read teeth-marks of a virgin Where it says knife read you passed through my bones like a police-whistle Where it says table read horse Where it says horse read my migrant's bundle Apples are to remain apples Each time a hat appears think of Isaac Newton reading the Old Testament Remove all periods They are scars made by words I couldn't bring myself to say Put a finger over each sunrise it will blind you otherwise That damn ant is still stirring Will there be time left to list all errors to replace all hands guns owls plates all cigars ponds woods and reach that beer-bottle my greatest mistake the word I allowed to be written when I should have shouted her name
TIme and again, however well we know the landscape of love, and the little church-yard with lamenting names, and the frightfully silent ravine wherein all the others end: time and again we go out two together, under the old trees, lie down again and again between the flowers, face to face with the sky.
we had goldfish and they circled around and around in the bowl on the table near the heavy drapes covering the picture window and my mother, always smiling, wanting us all to be happy, told me, 'be happy Henry!' and she was right: it's better to be happy if you can but my father continued to beat her and me several times a week while raging inside his 6-foot-two frame because he couldn't understand what was attacking him from within.
my mother, poor fish, wanting to be happy, beaten two or three times a week, telling me to be happy: 'Henry, smile! why don't you ever smile?'
and then she would smile, to show me how, and it was the saddest smile I ever saw
one day the goldfish died, all five of them, they floated on the water, on their sides, their eyes still open, and when my father got home he threw them to the cat there on the kitchen floor and we watched as my mother smiled
Spaces Space No center, no above, no below Ceaselessly devouring and engendering itself Whirlpool space And drop into height Spaces Clarities steeply cut Suspended By the night's flank Black gardens of rock crystal Flowering on a rod of smoke White gardens exploding in the air Space One space opening up Corolla And dissolving Space in space All is nowhere Place of impalpable nuptials
Perhaps not to be is to be without your being, without your going, that cuts noon light like a blue flower, without your passing later through fog and stones, without the torch you lift in your hand that others may not see as golden, that perhaps no one believed blossomed the glowing origin of the rose, without, in the end, your being, your coming suddenly, inspiringly, to know my life, blaze of the rose-tree, wheat of the breeze: and it follows that I am, because you are: it follows from ‘you are’, that I am, and we: and, because of love, you will, I will, We will, come to be.
Dream Variations by Langston Hughes . To fling my arms wide In some place of the sun, To whirl and to dance Till the white day is done. Then rest at cool evening Beneath a tall tree While night comes on gently, Dark like me- That is my dream!
To fling my arms wide In the face of the sun, Dance! Whirl! Whirl! Till the quick day is done. Rest at pale evening... A tall, slim tree... Night coming tenderly Black like me.
I bring you the child of an Idumean night! Black, with pale naked bleeding wings, Light Through the glass, burnished with gold and spice, Through panes, still dismal, alas, and cold as ice, Hurled itself, daybreak, against the angelic lamp. Palm-leaves! And when it showed this relic, damp, To that father attempting an inimical smile, The solitude shuddered, azure, sterile. O lullaby, with your daughter, and the innocence Of your cold feet, greet a terrible new being: A voice where harpsichords and viols linger, Will you press that breast, with your withered finger, From which Woman flows in Sibylline whiteness to Those lips starved by the air’s virgin blue?
A process in the weather of the heart Turns damp to dry; the golden shot Storms in the freezing tomb. A weather in the quarter of the veins Turns night to day; blood in their suns Lights up the living worm.
A process in the eye forwarns The bones of blindness; and the womb Drives in a death as life leaks out.
A darkness in the weather of the eye Is half its light; the fathomed sea Breaks on unangled land. The seed that makes a forest of the loin Forks half its fruit; and half drops down, Slow in a sleeping wind.
A weather in the flesh and bone Is damp and dry; the quick and dead Move like two ghosts before the eye.
A process in the weather of the world Turns ghost to ghost; each mothered child Sits in their double shade. A process blows the moon into the sun, Pulls down the shabby curtains of the skin; And the heart gives up its dead.
The desert zephyr fills her with its breath And she has loved with a fierce, white passion She never speaks of, for if she were to tell It would be like the face of unknown stars. Among us she may live for eighty years, Yet always as if newly come, Speaking a tongue that plants and whines Only by tiny creatures understood. And she will die here in our midst One night of utmost suffering, With only her fate as a pillow, And death, silent and strange.
Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art-- Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night And watching, with eternal lids apart, Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite, The moving waters at their priestlike task Of pure ablution round earth's human shores, Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask Of snow upon the mountains and the moors-- No--yet still steadfast, still unchangeable, Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast, To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, And so live ever--or else swoon to death
Dutch Mistress . A hotel in whose ledgers departures are more prominent than arrivals. With wet Koh-i-noors the October rain strokes what's left of the naked brain. In this country laid flat for the sake of rivers, beer smells of Germany and the seaguls are in the air like a page's soiled corners. Morning enters the premises with a coroner's punctuality, puts its ear to the ribs of a cold radiator, detects sub-zero: the afterlife has to start somewhere. Correspondingly, the angelic curls grow more blond, the skin gains its distant, lordly white, while the bedding already coils desperately in the basement laundry.
The gate of hell, so gloomy so cold so deep and so far away, opening and closing at the bottom of the dry well Girls dare not bend to look in afraid of a hand pusing from behind
Concubine Zhen died thin. Her husband was an emperor, her mother-in-law the emperor dowager Widowed for many years, the dowager feared the laughter between man and woman, feared that Zhen's graceful steps and her perfume hooked the emperor's eye.
She ordered Zhen to die and the emperor to love another.
Crying she said she didn't want to die or pollute the well. If she died the other person would also perish . . . Before she finished she was pushed into a long distant night
She's been floating ever since
in the news a girl who rebels against an exchange marriage jumps into a well