This World

September 16, 2006 at 3:34 am 1 comment

Czeslaw Milosz


It appears that it was all a misunderstanding.
What was only a trial run was taken seriously.
The rivers will return to their beginnings.
The wind will cease in its turning about.
Trees instead of budding will tend to their roots.
Old men will chase a ball, a glance in the mirror –
They are children again.
The dead will wake up, not comprehending.
Till everything that happened has unhappened.
What a relief! Breathe freely, you who suffered much.

(translated from the Polish by the author and Robert Hass)

Such a wonderful fable this – the idea of time running backward, of the accidental world we live in being rewound.

Is this what we really want, though? To discover that all our suffering, all our loss has been for nothing, a matter of mere oversight, so easily undone? How terrible if the thing we have taken so seriously turn out to be little more than a trial run. And how difficult to begin again (if consciousness and identity still have meaning in the renewed world) knowing what could, possibly, lie ahead.



Entry filed under: Czeslaw Milosz, English, Falstaff, Polish.

The Art of Disappearing The Lament of Gilgamesh

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Small Talk  |  September 20, 2006 at 9:58 am

    Lovely. I think it’s a wonderful concept – that our life is just a trial run. That we don’t really need to take stuff too seriously; that we will always have another chance.


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