Czeslaw Milosz: Honourable Eyes

Last week (August 14) the Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz died:

Yesterday the Guardian printed this recent poem by Milosz, from a collection to be published in the autumn.

Eyes by Czeslaw Milosz

My most honourable eyes, you are not in the best of shape.
I receive from you an image less than sharp,
And if a colour, then it’s dimmed.
And you were a pack of royal greyhounds once,
With whom I would set out in the early mornings.
My wondrously quick eyes, you saw many things,
Lands and cities, islands and oceans.Together we greeted immense sunrises
When the fresh air set us running on trails
Where the dew had just begun to dry.

Now what you have seen is hidden inside me
And changed into memories or dreams.
I am slowly moving away from the fairgrounds of the world
And I notice in myself a distaste
For the monkeyish dress, the screams and drumbeats.
What a relief. To be alone with my meditation

On the basic similarity in humans
And their tiny grain of dissimilarity.
Without eyes, my gaze is fixed on one bright point,
That grows large and takes me in.

Published Saturday August 21, 2004 in The Guardian

 

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