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New and Collected Poems: 1931-2001 Paperback – March 25, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
I highly recommend this volume. It seems more logical than previous Milosz collections, and the poems here make it clear that his Nobel Prize in Literature was well-deserved. Milosz is a prophet and soothsayer of the modern era. And with this collection, despite its price, each poem is economically precise and wise; there is no monetary value that could estimate the value of this superb collection.
The most interesting aspect of this volume is recognizing familiar Milosz poems juxtaposed with his latest work (2000). His latest work has the depth of lived experience and a maturity of patient observation of the human condition. Its strength lies in its approach to elemental themes: growing older, mortality, the trials of love and war, the purity of faith's optimism.
This book is a "must have."
The poem provided one of those rare moments where one feels transformed by words, where life is worth living again because someone said something so beautifully that it was again worth it to continue on.
I don't even know if Milosz wrote that poem specifically in response to what happened on September 11th; surely he saw greater horrors in Poland than we can even imagine. Yet ever since, his words have granted me peace, not only from the fear of annihilation through disaster, but from the ultimate annihilation of death.
I also love that he's still writing at ninety. I love how, against all odds, he decided to fall the way of faith.
I read one of his poems each night, like a prayer, like a song.
I used to think that Paul Celan captured the horror of war torn Europe the best, but Milosz now wins the title. The first books of this collection are harrowing and wistful.
The books written from California and France take a more metaphysical tone but never fail to be touching and humane.
The most recent poems detailing growing old are often funny but always reminiscent of just how much he has paid for growing up during wartime.
Shakespeare and Milosz had their fingers on the pulse of the human condition and have created poems that will truly last forever.
I recommend this book even to people who do not normally read poetry. It has changed me--- for the better.
"Someone will read as moral
that the people of Rome or Warsaw
haggle, laugh, make love
as they pass by martyrs' pyres.
Someone else will read
of the passing of things human,
of the oblivion
born before the flames have died."
In this same collection Milosz has a set of three small remarkable poems one on Hope, one on Faith, and one on 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.'
Milosz wrote poetry for seventy years, and his poems line by line do not cease to surprise. He shows an astonishing combination of intellect and feeling.Read more ›
The cover blurb says that he contains the twentieth century within himself like no other poet, and this certainly is true. But this is not primarily "historical" poetry. It covers deep issues, but remains intensely honest, open, personal, experiential and biblically spiritual. Having said all of that, I don't do Milosz's poetry justice. It is not there for anybody's encyclopedic curiosity of "honest Christian experience". It is a scalpel that cuts open his own heart, and mine. Repeatedly. Clearly. Without descending into the self-consciously avant-garde. He opens me in more ways than I sometimes think I want to be opened.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very dense read. Though the language is clear and concise. As I don't speak much Polish (or any at all), a friend recommended this to me and I found the translation to be, in... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Erika
I'm not realy a poetry person. I like poetry, I own a few collections of mostly mainstream poets that while I enjoy reading, I tend to look at face value and not see the many... Read morePublished 11 months ago by bookmagic
Sent this as a gift. Person who received it belongs to a poetry group that was sharing one copy. He was positively delighted to have his own.Published 16 months ago by Rosy
I have not yet had a sufficient number of poems by C.M. but knew his work and it is superb.Published 17 months ago by Monique Adam
Milosz was my professor, teacher (two very different things, in his opinion), graduate advisor and friend when I was getting my degrees in Slavic Languages and Literatures at Cal... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Robert J Shaw
Weighty and good-humored too. Humble yet profound. Fresh.
My Lord, I loved strawberry jam
And the dark sweetness of a woman's body. Read more
Poetry is inspired by and appreciated by every human emotion, even negative ones like anger and resentment, but whatever the causes they are not always manifestly apparent in the... Read morePublished on October 5, 2013 by Dr. Lee D. Carlson