Waiting for the End of the World :: Songs to poems by Czesław Milosz - Jarek Kordaczuk
Czeslaw Milosz, poems, song about the end of the world that is the end of the world in poetry and music release. ProForma - vocal music of north and south. Monoctone - an electronic instrument, sensors control a modular synthesizer Deopfer A-100 (or any voltage-controlled synthesizer - CV). Driver modules - Grzybek Electronics. Experimental polyphony - aleatorism controlled and moving clusters. The cluster appears here in two versions, as a cluster and the cluster sonorystyczny polyphonic. Contemporary music inspired by the poems of Czeslaw Milosz performed by chamber choir (the song can also be performed by the Symphonic Choir; due to the severity of the performance recommended to perform by a professional choir rather then amateur choir. Beatbox - percussion effects generated by the choir, vocal ensemble. Consonants and vowels as a means of artistic expression. Phonetic and traditional notation of vocals. See a musical notation and contemporary musical notation. Choir Sheet Music Downloads on the composer website.

Waiting for the End of the World A series of songs to poems by Czeslaw Milosz, for solo voice, vocal ensemble and electronics. A Quarter Waiting for the End of the World How many things in our life come into being in a quarter! The quarter that is left till dinner time, leaving to the theatre or arrival of guests. The quarter that sometimes extends inperceptibly for the guests were half an hour late. Or that lasted all night long - because being busy for a moment, we didn't notice that they hadn't come. And in the meantime the Sun rised again. Treating this filling of a spare quarter as a metaphore, it could be possible to find a pattern equally in the human life "till death" and in the existence of the world in general. Far-fetched? Maybe. But how many cultures have been waiting for the end of the world for thousands years? Jews, Christians, Muslims... Atheists (sic!) etc. know something about it. How many times the end of the world was to be just in a moment, in a quarter?... And how much was done in the meantime. Too many to mention. Our quarter lasted this time for about 9 months. It took so much time to finish the project from the first score sketches, the premiere, till the production of CD master. All the time we were intensively studying Czeslaw Milosz's poetry to choose 7 inspiring poems. Reading them again and again. Creating the cycle of pieces for voice, vocal ensemble and electronics and scoring them. First performance (concert in December 2011). Improving the prototype of electronic instrument called Monoctone, with hyperexpressive abilities as well as polishing the technique of playing it. Designing the sounds with analogue and digital synthesizers. Recording Basia's poetically sounding voice and compiling it with an occasionally quasi-synthetic (but ruthlessly natural!) sound of ProFormians. Editing, submixing, mixing, downmixing, listening, changing, downmixing, listening, changing, downmixing, listening... What about the end of the world?... Well, we've been still waiting - and in a spare quarter we taught Basia to ride a bike.  Basia Raduszkiewicz (colour), Jarek Kordaczuk (colour), ProForma Vocal Ensemble. A photo from the CD Waiting for the End of the World, photo. Jarosław Poliwko   CD Album Waiting for the End of the World lyrics:: Czeslaw Milosz music:: Jarek Kordaczuk vocal:: Basia Raduszkiewicz vocal ensemble:: ProForma electronics:: Jarek Kordaczuk Recording & Mastering :: Studio Ruchome DŸwięki Graphic design :: Adam Smoczyński Photo :: Jarosław Poliwko Production :: 6dB Records ProForma Alicja Westerlich, Justyna Fandrejewska, Justyna Łuńska, Agnieszka Słowińska, Małgosia Wawruk, Emilia Kitłowska, Magda Mieczkowska, Tomasz Łukaszuk, Michał Karwowski, Łukasz Napiwodzki, Grzegorz Kolendo, Robert Kuriata, Mariusz Mieczkowski, Marcin Wawruk (conductor) Used poems by Czeslaw Milosz: Faith, Hope, Love, A Song on the End of the World from Rescue, 1945 So Little from Where the Sun Rises and Where It Sets, 1974 After Paradise from Nieobjęta ziemia, 1984 Meaning from Farther Surroundings, 1991. The City of Youth from Facing the River, 1994 An Alcoholic Enters the Gates of Heaven, from It, 2000 We'd like to thank Anthony Milosz for  his approval to use Czeslaw Milosz's works and Agnieszka Kosińska for her meritorical advice and help. CD albumavailable at 6dB Records: www.6db.pl/czekajac-na-koniec-swiata.html      Basia Raduszkiewicz, ProForma, photo. Jarosław Poliwko.   After Paradise Czesław Miłosz After Paradise Don't run any more. Quiet. How softly it rains On the roofs of the city. How perfect All things are. Now, for the two of you Waking up in a royal bed by a garret window. For a man and a woman. For one plant divided Into masculine and feminine which longed for each other. Yes, this is my gift to you. Above ashes On a bitter, bitter earth. Above the subterranean Echo of clamorings and vows. So that now at dawn You must be attentive: the tilt of a head, A hand with a comb, two faces in a mirror Are only forever once, even if unremembered, So that you watch what it is, though it fades away, And are grateful every moment for your being. Let that little park with greenish marble busts In the pearl-gray light, under a summer drizzle, Remain as it was when you opened the gate. And the street of tall peeling porticos Which this love of yours suddenly transformed. City of My Youth Czesław Miłosz City of My Youth  It would be more decorous not to live. To live is not decorous, Says he who after many years Returned to the city of his youth. There was no one left Of those who once walked these streets. And now they had nothing, except his eyes. Stumbling, he walked and looked, instead of them, On the light they had loved, on the lilacs again in bloom. His legs were, after all, more perfect Than nonexistent legs. His lungs breathed in air As is usual with the living. His heart was beating, Surprising him with its beating, in his body Their blood flowed, his arteries fed them with oxygen. He felt, inside, their livers, spleens, intestines. Masculinity and femininity, elapsed, met in him And every shame, every grief, every love. If ever we accede to enlightenment, He thought, it is in one compassionate moment When what separated them from me vanishes And a shower of drops from a bunch of lilacs Pours on my face, and hers, and his, at the same time. Meaning Czesław Miłosz Meaning - When I die, I Will see the lining of the world. The other side, beyond bird, mountain, sunset. The true meaning, ready to be decoded. What never added up will add Up, What was incomprehensible will be comprehended. - And if there is no lining to the world? If a thrush on a branch is not a sign, But just a thrush on the branch? If night and day Make no sense following each other? And on this earth there is nothing except this earth? - Even if that is so, there will remain A word wakened by lips that perish, A tireless messenger who runs and runs Through interstellar fields, through the revolving galaxies, And calls out, protests, screams. An Alcoholic... Czesław Miłosz An Alcoholic Enters the Gates of Heaven What kind of man I was to be you?ve known since the beginning, since the beginning of every creature. It must be horrible to be aware, simultaneously, of what is, what was, and what will be. I began my life confident and happy, certain that the Sun rose every day for me and that flowers opened for me every morning. I ran all day in an enchanted garden. Not suspecting that you had picked me from the Book of Genes for another experiment altogether. As if there were not proof enough that free will is useless against destiny. Under your amused glance I suffered like a caterpillar impaled on the spike of a blackthorn. The terror of the world opened itself to me. Could I have avoided escape into illusion? Into a liquor which stopped the chattering of teeth and melted the burning ball in my breast and made me think I could live like others? I realized I was wandering from hope to hope and I asked you, All Knowing, why you torture me. Is it a trial like Job?s, so that I call faith a phantom and say: You are not, nor do your verdicts exist, and the earth is ruled by accident? Who can contemplate simultaneous, a-billion-times-multiplied pain? It seems to me that people who cannot believe in you deserve our praise. But perhaps because you were overwhelmed by pity, you descended to the earth to experience the condition of mortal creatures. Bore the pain of crucifixion for a sin, but committed by whom? I pray to you, for I do not know how not to pray. Because my heart desires you, though I do not believe you would cure me. And so it must be, that those who suffer will continue to suffer, praising your name. So Little Czesław Miłosz So Little I said so little. Days were short. Short days. Short nights. Short years. I said so little. I couldn't keep up. My heart grew weary From joy, Despair, Ardor, Hope. 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. Faith-Hope-Love Czesław Miłosz Faith The word Faith means when some sees A dew-drop or a floating leaf, and knows That they are, because they have to be. And even if you dreamed, or closed your eyes And wished, the world would still be what it was, And the leaf would still be carried down the river. It means that when someone's foot is hurt By a sharp rock, he also knows that rocks Are here so they can hurt our feet. Look, see the long shadow cast by the tree; And flowers and people throw shadows on the earth: What has no shadow has no strength to live. Hope Hope is with you when you believe The earth is not a dream but living flesh, That sight, touch, and hearing do not lie, That all things you have ever seen here Are like a garden looked at from a gate.   You cannot enter. But you're sure it's there. Could we but look more clearly and wisely We might discover somewhere in the garden A strange new flower and an unnamed star.   Some people say we should not trust our eyes, That there is nothing, just a seeming, These are the ones who have no hope. They think that the moment we turn away, The world, behind our backs, ceases to exist, As if snatched up by the hands of thieves. Love Love means to learn to look at yourself The way one looks at distant things For you are only one thing among many. And whoever sees that way heals his heart, Without knowing it, from various ills- A bird and a tree say to him: Friend. Then he wants to use himself and things So that they stand in the glow of ripeness. It doesn't matter whether he knows what he serves: Who serves best doesn't always understand. A Song on the End of the World Czesław Miłosz A Song on the End of the World On the day the world ends A bee circles a clover, A Fisherman mends a glimmering net. Happy porpoises jump in the sea, By the rainspout young sparrows are playing And the snake is gold-skinned as it it should always be. On the day the world ends Women walk through fields under their umbrellas A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn, Vegetable peddlers shout in the street And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island, The voice of a violin lasts in the air And leads into a starry night. And those who expected lightning and thunder Are disappointed. And those who expected signs and archangels' trumps Do not believe it is happening now. As long as the sun and the moon are above, As long as the bumblebee visits a rose As long as rosy infants are born No one believes it is happening now. Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet, Yet is not a prophet, for he's much too busy, Repeats while he binds his tomatoes: No other end of the world there will be, No other end of the world there will be. Experimental music Installations Coral music Solo pieces Improvised music Acousmatic music Electronic Music Monoctone Pieces for children Jarek Kordaczuk mp3 Dark Energy Agnieszka Kołodyńska Pantomime Electroacoustic music Vocal-instrumental music Instrumental Music Musical interpretations of fairy tales Compositions Adam Smoczyński Sacred Music EWI ProForma Theatrical music Jan Brzechwa Julian Tuwim Sebastian Wypych Poetic song Sung poetry Jarosław Kordaczuk Arrangements Videoclips Animations Titelituralia Onomatopeic compositions Theatre of Sound A Room Full of Fairy Tales Children's Art Centre Cezary Konrad Krzysztof Herdzin Basia Raduszkiewicz Music for children

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Children's Art CentreInstrumental Music
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Musical interpretations of fairy talesTheatrical music
Acousmatic musicPoetic song
Music for childrenTheatre of Sound
Experimental musicPieces for children
Electroacoustic musicOnomatopeic compositions

Waiting for the End of the World

A series of songs to poems by Czeslaw Milosz, for solo voice, vocal ensemble and electronics.

 

After Paradise
lyrics: Czeslaw Milosz
music: Jarek Kordaczuk

performers:
Basia Raduszkiewicz (vocal)
ProForma Vocal Ensemble
Jarek Kordaczuk (electronics, monoctone)
City of My Youth
lyrics: Czeslaw Milosz
music: Jarek Kordaczuk

performers:
Basia Raduszkiewicz (vocal)
ProForma Vocal Ensemble
Jarek Kordaczuk (EWI)
Meaning
lyrics: Czeslaw Milosz
music: Jarek Kordaczuk

performers (a cappella):
Basia Raduszkiewicz (vocal)
ProForma Vocal Ensemble

An Alcoholic
orginal title: An Alcoholic Enters the Gates of Heaven
lyrics: Czeslaw Milosz
music: Jarek Kordaczuk

performers:
Basia Raduszkiewicz (vocal)
ProForma Vocal Ensemble
Jarek Kordaczuk (fortepian, elektronika)
So Little
lyrics: Czeslaw Milosz
music: Jarek Kordaczuk

performers (a cappella):
Basia Raduszkiewicz (vocal)
ProForma Vocal Ensemble
Faith-Hope-Love
lyrics: Czeslaw Milosz
music: Jarek Kordaczuk

performers:
Basia Raduszkiewicz (vocal)
ProForma Vocal Ensemble
Jarek Kordaczuk (monoctone, electronics)
A song on the End of the World
lyrics: Czeslaw Milosz
music: Jarek Kordaczuk

performers:
Basia Raduszkiewicz (vocal)
ProForma Vocal Ensemble
Jarek Kordaczuk (electronics, piano)

Don't run any more.

Quiet.

How softly it rains

on the roofs of the city.

How perfect all things are

Perfect

Now, for the two of you

waking up in a royal bed

by a garret window.

For a man and a woman.

For one plant

divided into masculine and feminine

which longed for each other.

Perfect

Is this your gift?

Yes, this is my gift to you.

Above ashes?

Yes, above ashes.

Above the subterranean echo?

Yes, above the subterranean echo of clamorings and vows.

So that now at dawn

you must be attentive

the tilt of a head,

a hand with a comb,

two faces in a mirror

are only forever once,

even if unremembered,

so that you watch what it is, though it fades away,

and are grateful every moment for your being.

Let that little park

with greenish marble busts

in the pearl-gray light,

under a summer drizzle,

remain as it was

when you opened

the gate.

And the street of tall peeling porticos

which this love of yours

suddenly

transformed.

It would be more decorous not to live.

To live is not decorous,

says he who after many years

returned

to the city of his youth.

There was no one left of those who once walked these streets.

And now they had nothing,

except his eyes.

Stumbling, he walked and looked, instead of them, on the light they had loved,

on the lilacs again in bloom.

His legs were,

after all, more perfect than nonexistent legs.

His lungs breathed in air as is usual with the living.

His heart was beating, beating

Surprising him with its beating,

in his body their blood flowed,

his arteries fed them with oxygen.

He felt, inside, their livers,

spleens, intestines.

Masculinity and femininity, elapsed, met in him

And every shame, every grief, every love.

It would be more decorous not to live.

To live is not decorous,

says he who after many years

returned

to the city of his youth.

There was no one left of those who once walked these streets.

And now they had nothing,

except his eyes.

Stumbling, he walked and looked, instead of them, on the light they had loved,

on the lilacs again in bloom.

His legs were,

after all, more perfect than nonexistent legs.

His lungs breathed in air as is usual with the living.

His heart was beating, beating

Surprising him with its beating,

in his body their blood flowed,

his arteries fed them with oxygen.

He felt, inside, their livers,

spleens, intestines.

Masculinity and femininity, elapsed, met in him

And every shame, every grief, every love.

It would be more decorous not to live.

To live is not decorous,

says he who after many years

returned

to the city of his youth.

There was no one left of those who once walked these streets.

And now they had nothing,

except his eyes.

Stumbling, he walked and looked, instead of them, on the light they had loved,

on the lilacs again in bloom.

His legs were,

after all, more perfect than nonexistent legs.

His lungs breathed in air as is usual with the living.

His heart was beating, beating

Surprising him with its beating,

in his body their blood flowed,

his arteries fed them with oxygen.

He felt, inside, their livers,

spleens, intestines.

Masculinity and femininity, elapsed, met in him

And every shame, every grief, every love.

If ever we accede to enlightenment, he thought,

it is in one compassionate moment

when what separated them from me vanishes

And a shower of drops from a bunch of lilacs

Pours on my face,

and his,

and

hers,

at the same time.

When I die

When I die

When I die,

I will see the lining of the world.

The other side, beyond bird, mountain, sunset.

The true meaning, ready to be decoded.

What never added up will add up

What was incomprehensible will be comprehended.

And if...

And if

And if

And if there is no lining to the world?

If a thrush on a branch is not a sign,

but just a thrush on the branch?

If night and day make no sense following each other?

And on this earth there is nothing except this earth?

Even if that is so...

Even if that is so

Even if that is so

Even if that is so

Even if that is so, there will remain

a word wakened by lips that perish,

a tireless messenger who runs and runs

through interstellar fields, through the revolving galaxies

What kind of man I was to be

you've known since the beginning,

since the beginning of every creature.

It must be horrible to be aware,

simultaneously,

of what is,

what was,

and what will be.

I began my life confident and happy,

certain that the Sun rose every day for me

and that flowers opened for me every morning.

I ran all day in an enchanted garden.

enchanted

Not suspecting that you had picked me from the Book of Genes

for another experiment altogether.

As if there were not proof enough

that free will

is useless against destiny.

Under your amused glance I suffered like a caterpillar impaled on the spike of a blackthorn.

The terror of the world opened itself to me.

The terror of the world

Could I have avoided escape into illusion?

Into a liquor which stopped the chattering of teeth

and melted the burning ball in my breast

and made me think I could live like others?

I realized I was wandering from hope to hope

and I asked you, All Knowing,

why you torture me.

Is it a trial like Job?s, so that I call faith a phantom

and say:

You are not, nor do your verdicts exist, and the earth is ruled by accident?

Who can contemplate simultaneous, a-billion-times-multiplied pain?

It seems to me

that people

who cannot believe

in you

deserve your praise.

But perhaps because

you were overwhelmed by pity,

you descended to the earth

to experience the condition

of mortal

creatures.

Bore the pain of crucifixion for a sin, but committed by whom?

I pray to you,

for I do not know how not to pray.

Because my heart desires you,

I said so little.

Short days.

I said so little.

Short nights.

I said so little.

Short years.

Short days, short nights, short years.

I said so little.

So little, I couldn't keep up.

So little,

I couldn't keep up.

You couldn't keep up

I said so little.

Short days.

I said so little.

Short nights.

I said so little.

My heart

grew weary

from joy,

despair,

ardor,

hope.

My heart

grew weary

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.

I don't know

The word Faith means

when some sees

a dew-drop

or a floating leaf,

and knows that they are, because they have to be.

And even if you dreamed, or closed your eyes

and wished, the world would still be what it was,

and the leaf would still be carried down the river.

It means that

when someone's foot is hurt by a sharp rock,

he also knows that rocks are here so they can hurt our feet.

Look, see the long shadow cast by the tree;

and flowers and people throw shadows on the earth:

What has no shadow has no strength to live.

Hope is with you when you believe the earth is not a dream

but living flesh,

that sight, touch, and hearing do not lie,

that all things you have ever seen here are like a garden looked at from a gate.

You cannot enter but you're sure it's there.

Could we but look more clearly and wisely

we might discover somewhere in the garden

a strange new flower and an unnamed star.

Some people say we should not trust our eyes,

that there is nothing, just a seeming,

these are the ones who have no hope.

They think that the moment we turn away,

the world, behind our backs, ceases to exist,

as if snatched up by the hands of thieves.

Love means to learn to look at yourself

the way one looks at distant things

for you are only one thing among many.

And whoever sees that way heals his heart,

without knowing it, from various ills-

a bird and a tree say to him: Friend.

Friend...

Then he wants to use himself and things

so that they stand in the glow of ripeness.

It doesn't matter

whether he knows what he serves:

Who serves best

The day the world ends

On the day the world ends a bee,

on the day the world ends circles,

a bee circles a clover,

A Fisherman mends a glimmering net.

Happy porpoises jump,

happy porpoises jump in the sea,

by the rainspout young sparrows are playing

The day the world ends

The day the world ends women walk,

women walk through fields under their umbrellas,

a drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,

vegetable peddlers shout in the street

and a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,

the voice of a violin lasts in the air

And leads into a starry

night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder are disappointed.

And those who expected signs and archangels' trumps

do not believe it is happening now.

Do not believe it is happening now.

Do not believe it is happening

As long as the sun and the moon are above,

as long as the bumblebee visits a rose,

as long as rosy infants are born

No one believes

no one

no one believes it is happening

no one believes it is happening now

no one believes

Only a white-haired old man,

who would be a prophet,

yet is not a prophet, for he's much too busy,

repeats

while he binds his tomatoes:

No other end of the world there will be

No other end of the world there will be

No other end of the world there will be

Waiting for the End of the World

How many things in our life come into being in a quarter! The quarter that is left till dinner time, leaving to the theatre or arrival of guests. The quarter that sometimes extends inperceptibly for the guests were half an hour late. Or that lasted all night long - because being busy for a moment, we didn't notice that they hadn't come. And in the meantime the Sun rised again. Treating this filling of a spare quarter as a metaphore, it could be possible to find a pattern equally in the human life "till death" and in the existence of the world in general. Far-fetched? Maybe. But how many cultures have been waiting for the end of the world for thousands years? Jews, Christians, Muslims... Atheists (sic!) etc. know something about it. How many times the end of the world was to be just in a moment, in a quarter?... And how much was done in the meantime. Too many to mention.

Our quarter lasted this time for about 9 months. It took so much time to finish the project from the first score sketches, the premiere, till the production of CD master. All the time we were intensively studying Czeslaw Milosz's poetry to choose 7 inspiring poems. Reading them again and again. Creating the cycle of pieces for voice, vocal ensemble and electronics and scoring them. First performance (concert in December 2011). Improving the prototype of electronic instrument called Monoctone, with hyperexpressive abilities as well as polishing the technique of playing it. Designing the sounds with analogue and digital synthesizers. Recording Basia's poetically sounding voice and compiling it with an occasionally quasi-synthetic (but ruthlessly natural!) sound of ProFormians. Editing, submixing, mixing, downmixing, listening, changing, downmixing, listening, changing, downmixing, listening...

What about the end of the world?... Well, we've been still waiting - and in a spare quarter we taught Basia to ride a bike. 

Basia Raduszkiewicz (colour), Jarek Kordaczuk (colour), ProForma Vocal Ensemble.

A photo from the CD Waiting for the End of the World,
photo. Jarosław Poliwko
 


Czesław Miłosz






After Paradise

Don't run any more. Quiet. How softly it rains
On the roofs of the city. How perfect
All things are. Now, for the two of you
Waking up in a royal bed by a garret window.
For a man and a woman. For one plant divided
Into masculine and feminine which longed for each other.
Yes, this is my gift to you. Above ashes
On a bitter, bitter earth. Above the subterranean
Echo of clamorings and vows. So that now at dawn
You must be attentive: the tilt of a head,
A hand with a comb, two faces in a mirror
Are only forever once, even if unremembered,
So that you watch what it is, though it fades away,
And are grateful every moment for your being.
Let that little park with greenish marble busts
In the pearl-gray light, under a summer drizzle,
Remain as it was when you opened the gate.
And the street of tall peeling porticos
Which this love of yours suddenly transformed.



Czesław Miłosz






City of My Youth 

It would be more decorous not to live. To live is not decorous,
Says he who after many years
Returned to the city of his youth. There was no one left
Of those who once walked these streets.
And now they had nothing, except his eyes.
Stumbling, he walked and looked, instead of them,
On the light they had loved, on the lilacs again in bloom.
His legs were, after all, more perfect
Than nonexistent legs. His lungs breathed in air
As is usual with the living. His heart was beating,
Surprising him with its beating, in his body
Their blood flowed, his arteries fed them with oxygen.
He felt, inside, their livers, spleens, intestines.
Masculinity and femininity, elapsed, met in him
And every shame, every grief, every love.
If ever we accede to enlightenment,
He thought, it is in one compassionate moment
When what separated them from me vanishes
And a shower of drops from a bunch of lilacs
Pours on my face, and hers, and his, at the same time.


Czesław Miłosz






Meaning

- When I die, I Will see the lining of the world.
The other side, beyond bird, mountain, sunset.
The true meaning, ready to be decoded.
What never added up will add Up,
What was incomprehensible will be comprehended.
- And if there is no lining to the world?
If a thrush on a branch is not a sign,
But just a thrush on the branch? If night and day
Make no sense following each other?
And on this earth there is nothing except this earth?
- Even if that is so, there will remain
A word wakened by lips that perish,
A tireless messenger who runs and runs
Through interstellar fields, through the revolving galaxies,
And calls out, protests, screams.


Czesław Miłosz






An Alcoholic Enters the Gates of Heaven

What kind of man I was to be you?ve known since the beginning,
since the beginning of every creature.

It must be horrible to be aware, simultaneously,
of what is, what was,
and what will be.

I began my life confident and happy,
certain that the Sun rose every day for me
and that flowers opened for me every morning.
I ran all day in an enchanted garden.

Not suspecting that you had picked me from the Book of Genes
for another experiment altogether.
As if there were not proof enough
that free will is useless against destiny.

Under your amused glance I suffered
like a caterpillar impaled on the spike of a blackthorn.
The terror of the world opened itself to me.

Could I have avoided escape into illusion?
Into a liquor which stopped the chattering of teeth
and melted the burning ball in my breast
and made me think I could live like others?

I realized I was wandering from hope to hope
and I asked you, All Knowing, why you torture me.
Is it a trial like Job?s, so that I call faith a phantom
and say: You are not, nor do your verdicts exist,
and the earth is ruled by accident?

Who can contemplate
simultaneous, a-billion-times-multiplied pain?

It seems to me that people who cannot believe in you
deserve our praise.

But perhaps because you were overwhelmed by pity,
you descended to the earth
to experience the condition of mortal creatures.

Bore the pain of crucifixion for a sin, but committed by whom?

I pray to you, for I do not know how not to pray.

Because my heart desires you,
though I do not believe you would cure me.

And so it must be, that those who suffer will continue to suffer,
praising your name.


Czesław Miłosz






So Little

I said so little.
Days were short.
Short days.
Short nights.
Short years.
I said so little.
I couldn't keep up.
My heart grew weary
From joy,
Despair,
Ardor,
Hope.
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.


Czesław Miłosz






Faith

The word Faith means when some sees
A dew-drop or a floating leaf, and knows
That they are, because they have to be.
And even if you dreamed, or closed your eyes
And wished, the world would still be what it was,
And the leaf would still be carried down the river.

It means that when someone's foot is hurt
By a sharp rock, he also knows that rocks
Are here so they can hurt our feet.
Look, see the long shadow cast by the tree;
And flowers and people throw shadows on the earth:
What has no shadow has no strength to live.


Hope

Hope is with you when you believe
The earth is not a dream but living flesh,
That sight, touch, and hearing do not lie,
That all things you have ever seen here
Are like a garden looked at from a gate.
 
You cannot enter. But you're sure it's there.
Could we but look more clearly and wisely
We might discover somewhere in the garden
A strange new flower and an unnamed star.
 
Some people say we should not trust our eyes,
That there is nothing, just a seeming,
These are the ones who have no hope.
They think that the moment we turn away,
The world, behind our backs, ceases to exist,
As if snatched up by the hands of thieves.


Love

Love means to learn to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills-
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.

Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
It doesn't matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn't always understand.


Czesław Miłosz






A Song on the End of the World

On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A Fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it it should always be.

On the day the world ends
Women walk through fields under their umbrellas
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and archangels' trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet,
Yet is not a prophet, for he's much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
No other end of the world there will be,
No other end of the world there will be.