Cover image for New and collected poems 1931-2001
New and collected poems 1931-2001
Miłosz, Czesław.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Poems. Selections. English
Publication Information:
New York : Ecco, [2001]

Physical Description:
xxi, 776 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PG7158.M553 A2 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



New and Collected Poems: 1931-2001 celebrates the exceptional career of Czeslaw Milosz, from his first work, written when he was twenty, to his newest poems, published for the first time in English in this volume.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest poets of our time, Czeslaw Milosz is a master of probing inquiry and graceful expression. From his early poems, in which he declares, "I, a faithful son of the black earth, shall return to the black earth" ("Hymn"), to his newest work, in which he sees himself as a lofty, gray-headed spirit "Saved by his amazement, eternal and divine" ("For My Eighty-eighth Birthday"), Milosz's poetry is infused with a tireless spirit and penetrating insight into fundamental human dilemmas. In "Report," he arrives at the staggering yet simple truth that "to exist on the earth is beyond any power to name." in "Craftsman," he looks back over a life that was difficult to lead, but in the end he is nonetheless "Praising, renewing, healing. Grateful because the sun rose for you and will rise for others."

"With its clarity, historical awareness and moral vision," writes Don Began in The Nation, Milosz's work proves that "poetry can define and address the concerns of an age." Milosz himself describes poetry as "the passionate pursuit of the Real," "a witness and participant in one of mankind's major transformations." A defector to France in 1951 after having lived under Communism and National Socialism in Eastern Europe, he brings to bear the political awareness of an exile -- most notably in A Treatise on Poetry, a sixty-page exploration of the world wars that rocked the first half of the twentieth century. His newer poems, such as "Sarajevo," "Zdziechowski," and "On the Inequality of Men," also reflect the sharp political focus through which he continues to bear witness to the events that stir the world.

Unflinching, outspoken, and unsentimental, Milosz digs among the rubble of the past, choosing from the bad as well as the good, forging a vision that encompasses pain as well as joy. His work is "one of the monumental splendors of poetry in our age" (Edward Hirsch, The New York Times Book Review). New and Collected Poems: 1931-2001 is an essential collection from one of the most important voices in contemporary poetry.

Author Notes

Czeslaw Milosz is the recipient of the 1980 Nobel Prize in Literature. His most recent publications are Striving Towards Being: The Letters of Thomas Merton and Czeslaw Milosz (FSG, 1997) and Road-side Dog (FSG, 1998). He lives in Berkeley, California.

(Publisher Provided) Czeslaw Milosz was born in Szetejnie, Lithuania on June 30, 1911. In 1934, he received a degree as Master of Law and traveled to Paris on a fellowship from the National Culture Fund. In 1936, he worked as a literary programmer for Radio Wilno, but was dismissed for his leftist views the following year. He then took a job with Polish Radio in Warsaw. During World War II, he was a member of the Polish resistance. He served as a Polish diplomat in the late 1940s, but defected to Paris in 1951. In 1961, he became a lecturer in Polish literature at the University of California at Berkeley and, later, a professor of Slavic languages and literatures.

His works include The Captive Mind, Native Realm, Czeslaw Milosz: The Collected Poems 1931-1987, Bells in Winter, A Year of the Hunter, and Roadside Dog. He received several awards including the Prix Littéraire European from the Swiss Book Guild for The Seizure of Power in 1953, the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980. He has also translated the works of other Polish writers into English, and has co-translated his own works. He died on August 14, 2004.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

"More clever than you, I learned my century, pretending I knew a method for forgetting pain." There are few superlatives left for Milosz's work, but this enormous volume, with its portentous valedictory feel, will have reviewers firing up their thesauri nationwide. Born in Lithuania 90 years ago, Milosz published his first volume in Poland at age 22 and, after leftist activity in the '30s (forced underground under Hitler), defected in 1951 while working for the Polish consulate in Paris. After emigrating to the U.S. in 1960 and settling in as a professor of Slavic languages and literature at Berkeley (whence his books continued to issue), Milosz won the Nobel Prize in 1980. More books of verse attempting to come to grips with the 20th century followed, and Milosz enjoys an enormous, and deserved, reputation here, well-served by Milosz and Robert Hass's many co-translations of the poems, which make up the bulk of the book. (Other translators include Robert Pinsky and Peter Dale Scott.) Worth the price of admission alone is a full collection's worth of new work, taken from the Polish volume To ("This" in English) published last year, and superior to 1998's very uneven Road-Side Dog. The odd rhyming hexameter of "A Run" is typical here, taking us on dreams of flying, and back, in the last stanza, to the present: "I'm unkindly greeted by this awakened state./ During the day, on my cane, asthmatic, I creep./ But the night sees me off at the traveler's gate,/ And there, as at the outset, the world is new and sweet." Through the many horrors chronicled in this book, that renewal is a perpetual promise. (Oct. 1) Forecast: Excellent reviews and distribution should lead to strong sales, and Milosz's nonagenarian status should lend a hook for magazines. The press kit, however, pitches the book as published to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the (formerly independent) Ecco Press, and offers Ecco helmsman Daniel Halpern for interviews in lieu of Milosz. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

As complete a representation of the Nobel prize winner's work as you are likely to find. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Czeslaw Milosz
Introductionp. xxiii
A Poem on Frozen Time (Poemat o czasie zastyglym, 1933)p. 1
Artificerp. 3
Three Winters (Trzy zimy, 1936)p. 5
The Songp. 7
The Gates of the Arsenalp. 10
Hymnp. 13
Dawnsp. 16
Slow Riverp. 18
Statue of a Couplep. 21
Rescue (Ocalenie, 1945)p. 23
Ballad of Levalloisp. 25
Encounterp. 27
A Book in the Ruinsp. 28
Day of Generationp. 31
Campo dei Fiorip. 33
The Worldp. 36
The Road
The Gate
The Porch
The Dining Room
The Stairs
Father in the Library
Father's Incantations
From the Window
Father Explains
A Parable of the Poppy
By the Peonies
The Excursion to the Forest
The Bird Kingdom
The Sun
Voices of Poor Peoplep. 56
A Song on the End of the World
Song of a Citizen
The Poor Poet
A Poor Christian Looks at the Ghetto
Songs of Adrian Zielinskip. 67
Farewellp. 72
Flightp. 74
In Warsawp. 75
Dedicationp. 77
Daylight (Swiatlo dzienne, 1953)p. 79
Song on Porcelainp. 81
Child of Europep. 83
Mid-Twentieth-Century Portraitp. 88
A Nationp. 89
Birthp. 91
A Familyp. 93
Oceanp. 95
The Journeyp. 96
The Spirit of the Lawsp. 97
A Legendp. 99
Earthp. 102
You Who Wrongedp. 103
Mittelbergheimp. 104
A Treatise on Poetry (Traktat poetycki, 1957)p. 107
Prefacep. 109
I. Beautiful Timesp. 111
II. The Capitalp. 116
III. The Spirit of Historyp. 127
IV. Naturap. 140
Odep. 148
King Popiel and Other Poems (Krol Popiel i inne wiersze, 1962)p. 153
King Popielp. 155
Magpietyp. 156
Lessonsp. 157
No Morep. 158
Ode to a Birdp. 159
Happinessp. 161
What Once Was Greatp. 162
Should, Should Notp. 163
What Does It Meanp. 164
Heraclitusp. 165
Greek Portraitp. 166
The Masterp. 167
A Frivolous Conversationp. 169
In Milanp. 170
From the Chronicles of the Town of Pornicp. 171
Bluebeard's Castle
The Owners
Our Lady of Recovery
Album of Dreamsp. 175
Far Westp. 181
Throughout Our Landsp. 182
Bobo's Metamorphosis (Gucio zaczarowany, 1965)p. 189
It Was Winterp. 191
Bobo's Metamorphosisp. 193
Rivers Grow Smallp. 198
They Will Place There Telescreensp. 199
On the Other Sidep. 200
And the City Stood in Its Brightnessp. 201
Those Corridorsp. 202
Three Talks on Civilizationp. 203
Sentencesp. 206
I Sleep a Lotp. 207
Dithyrambp. 209
City Without a Name (Miasto bez imienia, 1969)p. 211
The Yearp. 213
City Without a Namep. 214
When the Moonp. 222
Veni Creatorp. 223
Windowp. 224
With Trumpets and Zithersp. 225
How It Wasp. 232
On the Roadp. 234
Whitenessp. 235
Thesis and Counter-Thesisp. 236
Counselsp. 237
Incantationp. 239
Ars Poetica?p. 240
Higher Arguments in Favor of Discipline Derived from the Speech Before the Council of the Universal State in 2068p. 242
Islandp. 244
My Faithful Mother Tonguep. 245
Uncollected Poems 1954-1969p. 247
Essep. 249
A Mistakep. 250
How Uglyp. 251
To Robinson Jeffersp. 252
To Raja Raop. 254
From the Rising of the Sun (Gdzie wschodzi slonce i kedy zapada, 1974)p. 257
A Taskp. 259
An Hourp. 260
A Storyp. 261
Readingsp. 262
Occonomia Divinap. 263
Tidingsp. 264
L'Acceleration de l'Histoirep. 265
Elegy for N. N.p. 266
An Appealp. 268
Calling to Orderp. 271
Not This Wayp. 273
So Littlep. 274
On Angelsp. 275
Seasonsp. 276
Giftp. 277
From the Rising of the Sunp. 278
I. The Unveiling
II. Diary of a Naturalist
III. Lauda
IV. Over Cities
V. A Short Recess
VI. The Accuser
VII. Bells in Winter
Hymn of the Pearl (Hymn o perle, 1981)p. 333
A Magic Mountainp. 335
The Viewp. 337
Caesareap. 338
Study of Lonelinessp. 339
A Felicitous Lifep. 340
The Fallp. 341
Temptationp. 342
Secretariesp. 343
Proofp. 344
Amazementp. 345
Ideap. 346
Filinap. 347
Reading the Japanese Poet Issa (1762-1826)p. 349
Notesp. 351
Before Majestyp. 355
A Poetic Statep. 356
Distancep. 357
When After a Long Lifep. 358
On Pilgrimagep. 359
Early Morningp. 360
A Portalp. 361
The Separate Notebooksp. 362
A Mirrored Gallery
Pages Concerning the Years of Independence
The Wormwood Star
Bypassing Rue Descartesp. 393
Accountp. 395
Riversp. 396
Unattainable Earth (Nieobjeta ziemia, 1986)p. 399
The Garden of Earthly Delightsp. 401
1. Summer
2. A Ball
3. Paradise
4. Earth
5. Earth Again
After Paradisep. 407
The Hooks of a Corsetp. 408
Annalenap. 414
Yellow Bicyclep. 415
Into the Treep. 416
One More Dayp. 418
Winterp. 420
A Boyp. 422
In Salemp. 423
1913p. 424
At Dawnp. 425
At Noonp. 426
Return to Krakow in 1880p. 427
The Cityp. 428
Preparationp. 429
"With not-quite truth ..."p. 430
Consciousnessp. 431
On Prayerp. 435
Father Ch., Many Years Laterp. 436
Initiationp. 441
Elegy for Y. Z.p. 442
Ankap. 444
Theodicyp. 445
Table Ip. 446
Table IIp. 447
My-nessp. 448
Thankfulnessp. 449
Poet at Seventyp. 450
"To find my home ..."p. 452
New Poems 1985-1987p. 453
A Portrait with a Catp. 455
Mary Magdalen and Ip. 456
A Skullp. 457
In a Jarp. 458
All Hallows' Evep. 459
This Onlyp. 460
A Confessionp. 461
For Jan Lebensteinp. 462
With Herp. 463
Old Womenp. 464
How It Should Be in Heavenp. 465
Caffe Grecop. 466
And Yet the Booksp. 468
On Parting with My Wife, Janinap. 469
Powersp. 471
La Belle Epoquep. 473
The Trans-Siberian Railway
Beyond the Urals
First Performance
The Northern Route
A Parisian Scene
The Titanic
Fear-Dream (1918)p. 487
In a Buggy at Duskp. 488
1945p. 490
Six Lectures in Versep. 491
Provinces (Dalsze okolice, 1991)p. 501
Blacksmith Shopp. 503
Adam and Evep. 504
Eveningp. 505
Creating the Worldp. 506
Linnaeusp. 508
In Musicp. 510
Incarnatedp. 511
Mister Hanusevichp. 512
Philologyp. 514
And Yetp. 515
At Yalep. 516
Beinecke Libraryp. 523
The Thistle, the Nettlep. 524
Reconciliationp. 525
Abodep. 526
A New Provincep. 527
Reading the Notebook of Anna Kamienskap. 531
Youthp. 532
In Commonp. 534
A Photographp. 535
Lastingnessp. 539
Either-Orp. 540
Two Poemsp. 542
Conversation with Jeanne
A Poem for the End of the Century
Spiderp. 548
Far Awayp. 550
Inheritorp. 556
Gathering Apricotsp. 557
Meditationp. 558
On a Beachp. 559
Returnp. 562
***p. 564
Good Nightp. 565
December 1p. 566
Dantep. 567
Meaningp. 569
Kaziap. 570
A Philosopher's Homep. 572
Facing the River (Na brzegu rzeki, 1995)p. 577
At a Certain Agep. 579
A Lecturep. 580
Whyp. 583
Caprip. 585
Reportp. 589
Lithuania, After Fifty-two Yearsp. 591
A Goddess
The Manor
A Certain Neighborhood
A Naiad
City of My Youthp. 596
A Meadowp. 597
Translating Anna Swir on an Island of the Caribbeanp. 598
To My Daimonionp. 600
The Wall of a Museump. 603
Biography of an Artistp. 604
The Garden of Earthly Delights: Hellp. 605
Realismp. 606
One More Contradictionp. 607
Woe!p. 608
Pierson Collegep. 609
Sarajevop. 610
To Allen Ginsbergp. 611
A Human Flyp. 614
House in Krasnogrudap. 615
A Polka-dot Dressp. 616
Plato's Dialoguesp. 618
Undressing Justinep. 619
Retiredp. 625
Wandap. 627
To Mrs. Professor in Defense of My Cat's Honor and Not Onlyp. 631
You Whose Namep. 633
This Worldp. 634
Happenings Elsewherep. 635
A Hallp. 637
After Enduringp. 638
Bodyp. 639
In Szetejniep. 640
Road-Side Dog (Piesek przydrozny, 1998)p. 643
Road-side Dogp. 645
Pelicansp. 646
A Ballp. 647
Watering Canp. 648
From My Dentist's Windowp. 649
Autumnp. 650
Helenep. 651
Helene's Religionp. 652
Yokimurap. 653
Americap. 655
Christopher Robinp. 656
Riversp. 657
This (To, 2000)p. 659
I Thisp. 663
To a Hazel Treep. 665
I Do Not Understandp. 667
My Grandfather Sigismund Kunatp. 668
Lakep. 671
After Travelingp. 672
The Headp. 673
Forgetp. 674
In a Cityp. 675
II An Honest Description of Myself with a Glass of Whiskey at an Airport, Let Us Say, in Minneapolisp. 679
For My Eighty-eighth Birthdayp. 680
A Runp. 681
By a Streamp. 682
O!p. 683
O! (Gustav Klimt)p. 684
O! (Salvator Rosa)p. 685
O! (Edward Hopper)p. 686
Whereverp. 687
Voyeurp. 688
So-called Lifep. 689
Prescriptionp. 690
In Black Despairp. 691
Examplep. 692
Awakenedp. 693
Submergedp. 694
Vipera Berusp. 695
Texasp. 696
Craftsmanp. 697
You, Vanquishedp. 698
Specimensp. 699
The Year 1900p. 700
Obviouslyp. 701
My Secretsp. 702
Ifp. 703
III Zone of Silencep. 707
Selecting Iwaszkiewicz's Poems for an Evening of His Poetry at the National Theater in Warsawp. 708
Ode for the Eightieth Birthday of Pope John Paul IIp. 709
What I Learned from Jeanne Herschp. 711
Opposed to Each Otherp. 713
Zdziechowskip. 714
Against the Poetry of Philip Larkinp. 718
On the Death of a Poetp. 719
On the Inequality of Menp. 720
Aleksander Wat's Tiep. 721
To Robert Lowellp. 722
Pastels by Degasp. 723
On Poetry, Upon the Occasion of Many Telephone Calls After Zbigniew Herbert's Deathp. 724
Unde Malump. 726
Rozewiczp. 727
IV Gardenerp. 731
One and Manyp. 733
An Alcoholic Enters the Gates of Heavenp. 734
The Ritep. 736
Personsp. 738
In a Parishp. 741
Prayerp. 742
Afterp. 744
Rays of Dazzling Lightp. 745
Late Ripenessp. 747
Notesp. 749
Index of Poems and Translatorsp. 771