Saturday, December 12, 2015

Czeslaw Milosz: "Hope"

Hope is with you when you believe
The earth is not a dream but living flesh,
That sight, touch, and hearing do not lie,
That all things you have ever seen here
Are like a garden looked at from a gate.

You cannot enter. But you're sure it's there.
Could we but look more clearly and wisely
We might discover somewhere in the garden
A strange new flower and an unnamed star.

Some people say we should not trust our eyes,
That there is nothing, just a seeming,
These are the ones who have no hope.
They think that the moment we turn away,
The world, behind our backs, ceases to exist,
As if snatched up by the hands of thieves.

"Hope" by Czeslaw Milosz, from The World (1943). Text as published in New and Collected Poems: 1931-2001 (Ecco, 2003). Translated from the original Polish by Czeslaw Milosz and Robert Hass.

Art credit: "Follow Me," photograph by Andrea Clare.

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