Zitate von Czesław Miłosz

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Czesław Miłosz

Geburtstag: 30. Juni 1911
Todesdatum: 14. August 2004
Andere Namen:چسلاو میلوش,Milosh Cheslav, 米禾舒

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Czesław Miłosz [ˈt ͡ʂɛswaf ˈmiwɔʂ] war ein polnischer Dichter. 1980 erhielt er den Nobelpreis für Literatur.

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„Only if we assume that a poet constantly strives to liberate himself from borrowed styles in search for reality, is he dangerous. In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot.“

— Czeslaw Milosz
Context: Only if we assume that a poet constantly strives to liberate himself from borrowed styles in search for reality, is he dangerous. In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot. And, alas, a temptation to pronounce it, similar to an acute itching, becomes an obsession which doesn't allow one to think of anything else. That is why a poet chooses internal or external exile. It is not certain, however, that he is motivated exclusively by his concern with actuality. He may also desire to free himself from it and elsewhere, in other countries, on other shores, to recover, at least for short moments, his true vocation — which is to contemplate Being. Nobel lecture (8 December 1980)

„Under various names, I have praised only you, rivers!“

— Czeslaw Milosz
Context: Under various names, I have praised only you, rivers! You are milk and honey and love and death and dance. From a spring in hidden grottoes, seeping from mossy rocks, Where a goddess pours live water from a pitcher, At clear streams in the meadow, where rills murmur underground, Your race and my race begin, and amazement, and quick passage. "Rivers" (1980), trans. Renata Gorczynski and Robert Hass

„They are totally unaware of the fact that nothing is their own, that everything is part of their historical formation — their occupations, their clothes, their gestures and expressions, their beliefs and ideas.“

— Czeslaw Milosz
Context: What is the significance of the lives of the people he passes, of the senseless bustle, the laughter, the pursuit of money, the stupid animal diversions? By using a little intelligence he can easily classify the passers-by according to type; he can guess their social status, their habits and their preoccupations. A fleeting moment reveals their childhood, manhood, and old age, and then they vanish. A purely physiological study of one particular passer-by in preference to another is meaningless. If one penetrates into the minds of these people, one discovers utter nonsense. They are totally unaware of the fact that nothing is their own, that everything is part of their historical formation — their occupations, their clothes, their gestures and expressions, their beliefs and ideas. They are the force of inertia personified, victims of the delusion that each individual exists as a self. If at least these were souls, as the Church taught, or the monads of Leibnitz! But these beliefs have perished. What remains is an aversion to an atomized vision of life, to the mentality that isolates every phenomenon, such as eating, drinking, dressing, earning money, fornicating. And what is there beyond these things? Should such a state of affairs continue? Why should it continue? Such questions are almost synonymous with what is known as hatred of the bourgeoisie.

„The pressure of an all-powerful totalitarian state creates an emotional tension in its citizens that determines their acts.“

— Czeslaw Milosz
Context: The pressure of an all-powerful totalitarian state creates an emotional tension in its citizens that determines their acts. When people are divided into "loyalists" and "criminals" a premium is placed on every type of conformist, coward, and hireling; whereas among the "criminals" one finds a singularly high percentage of people who are direct, sincere, and true to themselves.

„Consciousness even in my sleep changes primary colors.
The features of my face melt like a wax doll in the fire.
And who can consent to see in the mirror the mere face of man?“

— Czeslaw Milosz
Context: Consciousness even in my sleep changes primary colors. The features of my face melt like a wax doll in the fire. And who can consent to see in the mirror the mere face of man? "Rivers Grow Small" (1963), trans. Czesław Miłosz

„Was I born to become
a ritual mourner?“

— Czeslaw Milosz
Context: How can I live in this country Where the foot knocks against The unburied bones of kin? I hear voices, see smiles. I cannot Write anything; five hands Seize my pen and order me to write The story of their lives and deaths. Was I born to become a ritual mourner? I want to sing of festivities, The greenwood into which Shakespeare Often took me. Leave To poets a moment of happiness, Otherwise your world will perish. "In Warsaw" (1945), trans. Czesŀaw Miŀosz, Robert Hass and Madeline Levine

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„The feeling of a prisoner who touches a wall
And knows that beyond it valleys spread,
Oaks stand in summer splendor, a jay flies
And a kingfisher changes a river to a marvel.“

— Czeslaw Milosz
Context: Tell me, as you would in the middle of the night When we face only night, the ticking of a watch, the whistle of an express train, tell me Whether you really think that this world Is your home? That your internal planet That revolves, red-hot, propelled by the current Of your warm blood, is really in harmony With what surrounds you? Probably you know very well The bitter protest, every day, every hour, The scream that wells up, stifled by a smile, The feeling of a prisoner who touches a wall And knows that beyond it valleys spread, Oaks stand in summer splendor, a jay flies And a kingfisher changes a river to a marvel. "An Appeal" (1954), trans. Czesław Miłosz and Robert Hass

„Never has there been a close study of how necessary to a man are the experiences which we clumsily call aesthetic.“

— Czeslaw Milosz
Context: Never has there been a close study of how necessary to a man are the experiences which we clumsily call aesthetic. Such experiences are associated with works of art for only an insignificant number of individuals. The majority find pleasure of an aesthetic nature in the mere fact of their existence within the stream of life. In the cities, the eye meets colorful store displays, the diversity of human types. Looking at passers-by, one can guess from their faces the story of their lives. This movement of the imagination when a man is walking through a crowd has an erotic tinge; his emotions are very close to physiological sensations.

„A real "wasteland" is much more terrible than any imaginary one.“

— Czeslaw Milosz
Context: Whoever saw, as many did, a whole city reduced to rubble — kilometers of streets on which there remained no trace of life, not even a cat, not even a homeless dog — emerged with a rather ironic attitude toward descriptions of the hell of the big city by contemporary poets, descriptions of the hell in their own souls. A real "wasteland" is much more terrible than any imaginary one. Whoever has not dwelt in the midst of horror and dread cannot know how strongly a witness and participant protests against himself, against his own neglect and egoism. Destruction and suffering are the school of social thought.

„Leave
To poets a moment of happiness,
Otherwise your world will perish.“

— Czeslaw Milosz
Context: How can I live in this country Where the foot knocks against The unburied bones of kin? I hear voices, see smiles. I cannot Write anything; five hands Seize my pen and order me to write The story of their lives and deaths. Was I born to become a ritual mourner? I want to sing of festivities, The greenwood into which Shakespeare Often took me. Leave To poets a moment of happiness, Otherwise your world will perish. "In Warsaw" (1945), trans. Czesŀaw Miŀosz, Robert Hass and Madeline Levine

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„He who invokes history is always secure.
The dead will not rise to witness against him.You can accuse them of any deeds you like.
Their reply will always be silence.“

— Czeslaw Milosz
Context: He who invokes history is always secure. The dead will not rise to witness against him.You can accuse them of any deeds you like. Their reply will always be silence.Their empty faces swim out of the deep dark. You can fill them with any features desired.Proud of dominion over people long vanished, Change the past into your own, better likeness. "Child of Europe" (1946)

„We were permitted to shriek in the tongue of dwarfs and demons
But pure and generous words were forbidden“

— Czeslaw Milosz
Context: We were permitted to shriek in the tongue of dwarfs and demons But pure and generous words were forbidden Under so stiff a penalty that whoever dared to pronounce one Considered himself as a lost man. "A Task"

„And yet the world is different from what it seems to be
and we are other than how we see ourselves in our ravings.“

— Czeslaw Milosz
Context: There was a time when only wise books were read helping us to bear our pain and misery. This, after all, is not quite the same as leafing through a thousand works fresh from psychiatric clinics. And yet the world is different from what it seems to be and we are other than how we see ourselves in our ravings. "Ars Poetica?"

„No other end of the world will there be.“

— Czeslaw Milosz
Context: 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 will there be, No other end of the world will there be. "A Song On the End of the World"

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