Czeslaw Milosz (1911–2004) was born in Szetejnie, Lithuania. Over the course of his long and prolific career he published works in many genres, including criticism (The Captive Mind), fiction (The Issa Valley), memoir (Native Realm), and poetry (New and Collected Poems, 1931-2001). He was a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980.

IN THE REVIEW

The Emperor Constantine

I could have lived in the time of Constantine. Three hundred years after the death of the Savior, Of whom no more was known than that he had risen Like a sunny Mithra among Roman legionnaires. I would have witnessed the quarrel between homoousios and homoiousios …

Forget

Forget the suffering You caused others. Forget the suffering Others caused you. The waters run and run, Springs sparkle and are done, You walk the earth you are forgetting. Sometimes you hear a distant refrain. What does it mean, you ask, who is …

From Milosz’s ABC’s

CITY I have thought a great deal about the phenomenon of the city, but not at all about the silly slogan “Miasto, masa, maszyna” (“Metropolis, masses, machine”—a slogan of the Polish avantgarde). I have had occasion to live in very large metropolises, in Paris and New York, but my first …

Discreet Charm of Nihilism

First First, a fringe of the aristocracy cultivating literature and art, elegant, freed from the coarser superstitions. And churches filled with the pious, the scent of their incense and their prayers. They would come to a common frame of mind. It would take a hundred and fifty years. Opium for …

Subjects to Let

Fleas It was at the time when missions fell into ruin and their possessions were divided by the Mexican authorities between neighboring estates, before the appearance of Americans. The causes of the missions’ downfall were multiple. The Sonoma mission disintegrated because of grizzly bears. These made a discovery that the …

Themes

Christopher Robin In April of 1996 the international press carried the news of the death, at age 75, of Christopher Robin Milne, eternalized in a book by his father A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh ,as Christopher Robin. I must think suddenly of matters too difficult for a bear of little brain. I …