Miłosz is already most assuredly one of my favorite poets, and my relationship with this volume has been marked by a wondrous, but slightly perturbingMiłosz is already most assuredly one of my favorite poets, and my relationship with this volume has been marked by a wondrous, but slightly perturbing, synchronicity. Every time I flip open its pages, the perfect poem for that particular temporal node inexplicably reveals itself to me.
If I were in the place of young poets (quite a place, whatever the generation might think) I would prefer not to say that the earth is a madman’s dream, a stupid tale full of sound and fury.
It’s true, I did not happen to see the triumph of justice. The lips of the innocent make no claims. And who knows whether a fool in a crown, a winecup in hand, roaring that God favors him because he poisoned, slew, and blinded so many, would not move the onlookers to tears: he was so gentle.
God does not multiply sheep and camels for the virtuous and takes nothing away for murder and perjury. He has been hiding for so long that it has been forgotten how he revealed himself in the burning bush and in the breast of a young Jew ready to suffer for all who were and will be.
It is not certain if Ananke awaits her hour to pay back what is due for the lack of measure and for pride.
Man has been given to understand that he lives only by the grace of those in power. Let him therefore busy himself sipping coffee, catching butterflies. He who cares for the Republic will have his right hand cut off.
And yet, the Earth merits a bit, a tiny bit, of affection. Not that I take too seriously consolations of nature, and baroque ornaments, the moon, chubby clouds (although it’s beautiful when bird-cherries blossom on the banks of the Wilia). No, I would even advise to keep further from Nature, from persistent images of infinite space, of infinite time, from snails poisoned on a path in a garden, just like our armies.
There is so much death, and that is why affection for pigtails, bright-colored skirts in the wind, for paper boats no more durable that we are . . ....more
Stowed off with four out of the seven volumes of this behemoth from the community room of a pool I worked at; best decision of my summer, perhaps theStowed off with four out of the seven volumes of this behemoth from the community room of a pool I worked at; best decision of my summer, perhaps the most fruitful theft of my life thus far. Gibbon is a eminent force to my reckoned with; a historical pièce de résistance; a most cunning, and comedic, linguist (and I have no doubts that my main mayn Gibbon here put his mastery of the tongue to good use on the ladies, as well—a cunnilingus on and off the page, if you will); a dramatic, tragic, and triumphant masterpiece. If you desire insight into the complexity of the human mind, and the expansive range of experience, behavior, and characters it can manifest, for God's sake read some, any, of The Decline and Fall, you proles. The richness of history + literature > psychology, philosophy (of mind), other such oft vapid drivel. Also, I have a newfound respect for the semicolon which heretofore I have had a severe distaste for. Gah, goddamnit Gibbon! you're such an exquisite stylist—reading you is like having your skull overbrimming with the kind of nerve ending activity usually reserved solely for the tip of a man's dickhead. History as a lascivious, sensuous act....more