Monday, December 06, 2004

Bells in Winter

So Little

I said so little.
Days were short.

Short days.
Short nights.
Short years.

I said so little.
I couldn't keep it up.

My heart grew weary
From joy,

The jaws of Leviathan
Were closing upon me.

Naked, I lay on the shores
Of desert islands.

The white whale of the world
Hauled me down to its pit.

And now I don't know
What in all that was real.

Calling To Order

You could scream
Because mankind is mad.
But you, of all people, should not.

Out of what thin sand
And mud and slime
Out of what dogged splinters
Did you fashion your castle against the test of the sea,
And now it is touched by a wave.

What chaos
Received bounds, from here to there.
What abyss
Was seen and passed over in silence.
What fear
Of what you are.

It shows itself
But that is not it.
It is named
Yet remains nameless.
It is coming to be
But has not begun.

Your castle will topple
Into the wine-colored
Funereal sea,
She will assauge your pride.

Yet you knew how
To use next to nothing.
It is not a matter of wisdom
Or virtue.

So how can you condemn
The unreason of others.

-Czeslaw Milosz, 1974

The Witness of Czeslaw Milosz, by Jeremy Driscoll (First Things)
via Dialogic

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