Czesław Miłosz: “One More Contradiction”

choosing the fate of obedience

ONE MORE CONTRADICTION

Did I fulfill what I had to, here, on earth?
I was a guest in a house under white clouds
Where rivers flow and grasses renew themselves.
So what if I were called, if I was hardly aware.
The next time early I would search for wisdom.
I would not pretend I could be just like the others:
Only evil and suffering come from that.
Renouncing, I would choose the fate of obedience.
I would suppress my wolf’s eye and greedy throat.
A resident of some cloister floating in the air
With a view on the cities glowing below,
Or onto a stream, a bridge and old cedars,
I would give myself to one task only.
Which then, however, could not be accomplished.

Czesław Miłosz

Translation by Robert Hass

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~ by matt on 15 April 2008.

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Natalie E. Illum...

is a poet, performer and disability activist. Bring her stumbling to your city.

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