Sunday, October 6, 2013

Czeslaw Milosz: "This Only"

A valley and above it forests in autumn colors.
A voyager arrives, a map leads him there.
Or perhaps memory. Once long ago in the sun,
When snow first fell, riding this way
He felt joy, strong, without reason,
Joy of the eyes. Everything was the rhythm
Of shifting trees, of a bird in flight,
Of a train on the viaduct, a feast in motion.
He returns years later, has no demands.
He wants only one, most precious thing:
To see, purely and simply, without name,
Without expectations, fears, or hopes,
At the edge where there is no I or not-I.

"This Only" by Czeslaw Milosz, from The Collected Poems, 1931-1987, translated by Robert Hass. © Ecco Press, 1988.

Photography credit: "Horse and Rider Riding Off," by Joe Boyle (originally black and white).

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