Encounter

By Czeslaw Milosz 1911–2004 Czeslaw Milosz

Translated By Czeslaw Milosz and Lillian Vallee

We were riding through frozen fields in a wagon at dawn.
A red wing rose in the darkness.

And suddenly a hare ran across the road.
One of us pointed to it with his hand.

That was long ago. Today neither of them is alive,
Not the hare, nor the man who made the gesture.

O my love, where are they, where are they going
The flash of a hand, streak of movement, rustle of pebbles.
I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder.


                                                         Wilno, 1936

Czeslaw Milosz, "Encounter" from The Collected Poems, 1931-1987. Copyright © 1988 by Czeslaw Milosz Royalites, Inc. Used by permission of the HarperCollins Publishers.

Source: The Collected Poems 1931-1987 (The Ecco Press, 1988)

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Poet Czeslaw Milosz 1911–2004

POET’S REGION Poland

Subjects Time & Brevity, Nature, Living, Death

Poetic Terms Imagery, Elegy

 Czeslaw  Milosz

Biography

Czeslaw Milosz ranks among the most respected figures in twentieth-century Polish literature, as well as one of the most respected contemporary poets in the world: he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980. Born in Lithuania, where his parents moved temporarily to escape the political upheaval in their native Poland, as an adult, he left Poland due to the oppressive Communist regime that came to power following World . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Time & Brevity, Nature, Living, Death

POET’S REGION Poland

Poetic Terms Imagery, Elegy

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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