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Selected Poems: 1931-2004
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Selected Poems: 1931-2004

by Czeslaw Milosz, Seamus Heaney (Foreword by), Seamus Heaney
 

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“One of the century’s most important poets.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“One of the greatest poets of our time, perhaps the greatest.”
—Joseph Brodsky

“Nobody tells the story of this age better than Czeslaw Milosz.”
New Republic

Commemorating the centenary year of Nobel Laureate

Overview

“One of the century’s most important poets.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“One of the greatest poets of our time, perhaps the greatest.”
—Joseph Brodsky

“Nobody tells the story of this age better than Czeslaw Milosz.”
New Republic

Commemorating the centenary year of Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz, Selected and Last Poems 1934 - 2004 is a sterling collection of some of the finest works of one the most revered poets of our time—including more than forty later poems new to this edition and never before published in English. Selected and Last Poems is a perfect introduction for poetry readers who might still be unfamiliar with this literary giant’s monumental body of work.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Lithuanian-born Milosz (1911- 2004) became a leader among Polish-language modernists in the 1930s, then witnessed the Nazi destruction of Warsaw. His epochal early poetry described the horrors of war and the enduring power of joy: "I have seen the fall of States and the perdition of tribes," one 1943 poem says. "Love means to look at yourself/ The way one looks at distant things," advises his much-loved sequence from the same year, "The World." The postwar Milosz became a Polish diplomat, then rejected Soviet communism and sought political asylum; he taught at Berkeley till the end of the Cold War and returned to Poland in his last years. In decades of pellucid verse (and lyrical prose, also included), Milosz viewed at once the beauty of single moments and the sweep of civilization and barbarism over centuries: a stubborn defender of human decency and of liberal hopes, he saw, as few have, how "what could not be taken away,/ is taken. People, countrysides./ And the heart does not die when one thinks it should." Translated by many hands, but principally by former U.S. poet laureate Robert Hass, the verse carries over into English not only its sentiments, but much of its music, too: this first posthumous selection (New & Collected Poems appeared in 2001) should renew national attention to a poet of international significance. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060188672
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/04/2006
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
575,504
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.01(d)

Read an Excerpt

A Task

In fear and trembling, I think I would fulfill my life
Only if I brought myself to make a public confession
Revealing a sham, my own and of my epoch:
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.

Meet the Author

Czeslaw Milosz was born in Szetejnie, Lithuania, in 1911. He worked with the Polish resistance movement in Warsaw during World War II and was later stationed in Paris and Washington, D.C., as a Polish cultural attaché. He defected to France in 1951, and in 1960 he accepted a position at the University of California, Berkeley. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1980, and was a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He died in 2004.

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