Czesław Miłosz Quotes

Enjoy the top 62 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Czesław Miłosz.

Czesław Miłosz Quotes

Love means to learn to look at yourself the way one looks at distant things for you are only one thing among many.
— CzesÅ‚aw MiÅ‚osz —

The purpose of poetry is to remind us
how difficult it is to remain just one person,
for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors,
and invisible guests come in and out at will.

— CzesÅ‚aw MiÅ‚osz

Language is the only homeland.

— CzesÅ‚aw MiÅ‚osz

Tomber amoureux. To fall in love. Does it occur suddenly or gradually? If gradually, when is the moment "already"? I would fall in love with a monkey made of rags. With a plywood squirrel. With a botanical atlas. With an oriole. With a ferret. With a marten in a picture. With the forest one sees to the right when riding in a cart to Jaszuny. With a poem by a little-known poet. With human beings whose names still move me. And always the object of love was enveloped in erotic fantasy or was submitted, as in Stendhal, to a "cristallisation," so it is frightful to think of that object as it was, naked among the naked things, and of the fairy tales about it one invents. Yes, I was often in love with something or someone. Yet falling in love is not the same as being able to love. That is something different.

— CzesÅ‚aw MiÅ‚osz

I was not meant to live anywhere except in Paradise.
Such, simply, was my genetic inadaptation.
Here on earth every prick of a rose-thorn changed into a wound. When the sun hid behind a cloud, I grieved.
I pretended to work like others from morning to evening, but I was absent, dedicated to invisible countries.

— CzesÅ‚aw MiÅ‚osz

All was taken away from you: white dresses, wings, even existence.

— CzesÅ‚aw MiÅ‚osz

You who think of us: they lived only in delusion ... Know that we the People of the Book, will never die!

— CzesÅ‚aw MiÅ‚osz

Men will clutch at illusions when they have nothing else to hold to.

— CzesÅ‚aw MiÅ‚osz

When, as my friend suggested, I stand before Zeus (whether I die naturally, or under sentence of History)I will repeat all this that I have written as my defense.Many people spend their entire lives collecting stamps or old coins, or growing tulips. I am sure that Zius will be merciful toward people who have given themselves entirely to these hobbies, even though they are only amusing and pointless diversions. I shall say to him : "It is not my fault that you made me a poet, and that you gave me the gift of seeing simultaneously what was happening in Omaha and Prague, in the Baltic states and on the shores of the Arctic Ocean.I felt that if I did not use that gift my poetry would be tasteless to me and fame detestable. Forgive me." And perhaps Zeus, who does not call stamp-collectors and tulip-growers silly, will forgive.

— CzesÅ‚aw MiÅ‚osz

The worst possible sexual education: a taboo imposed by the Catholic church plus romantic literature elevating love to unreal heights plus the obscene language of my peers. After all, I was nearly born in the nineteenth century, and I have no tender feelings for it.

— CzesÅ‚aw MiÅ‚osz

She got out at Raspail. I was left behind with the immensity of existing things. A sponge, suffering because it cannot saturate itself; a river, suffering because reflections of clouds and trees are not clouds and trees. (Esse)

— CzesÅ‚aw MiÅ‚osz

You who wronged a simple man
Bursting into laughter at the crime,
And kept a pack of fools around you
To mix good and evil, to blur the line,
Though everyone bowed down before you,
Saying virtue and wisdom lit your way,
Striking gold medals in your honor,
Glad to have survived another day,
Do not feel safe. The poet remembers.
You can kill one, but another is born.
The words are written down, the deed, the date.
And you'd have done better with a winter dawn,
A rope, and a branch bowed beneath your weight.

— CzesÅ‚aw MiÅ‚osz

When, after a long life, it falls out
That he takes on a form he had sought
And every word carved in stone
Grows its hoarfrost, what then? Torches
Of Dionysian choruses in the dark mountains
From when he comes. And half of the sky
With its snaky clouds. A mirror before him.
In the mirror the already severed, perishing
Thing.

— CzesÅ‚aw MiÅ‚osz

In the people's democracies, the Communists speak of the "New Faith" and compare its growth to that of Christianity in the Roman Empire.
There has been instituted in France a group of worker-priests, who do regular work in the factories and bring the Gospel to the laboring masses while sharing fully in their living conditions. A large proportion of these men have abandoned Catholicism and been converted to communism.
This example illustrates the intensity of the ideological struggle which is going on today. And let it be remembered that in the people's democracies indoctrination is enforced by the whole power of the State.

— CzesÅ‚aw MiÅ‚osz

Love means to learn to look at yourself the way one looks at distant things for you are only one thing among many.

— CzesÅ‚aw MiÅ‚osz

Horror is the law of the world of living creatures, and civilization is concerned with masking that truth. Literature and art refine and beautify, and if they were to depict reality naked, just as everyone suspects it is (although we defend ourselves against that knowledge), no one would be able to stand it.

— CzesÅ‚aw MiÅ‚osz

What is not pronounced tends to nonexistence.

— CzesÅ‚aw MiÅ‚osz

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