Theodicy

Translated by Robert Hass and Czeslaw Milosz
No, it won’t do, my sweet theologians.
Desire will not save the morality of God.
If he created beings able to choose between good and evil,
And they chose, and the world lies in iniquity,
Nevertheless, there is pain, and the undeserved torture of creatures,
Which would find its explanation only by assuming
The existence of an archetypal Paradise
And a pre-human downfall so grave
That the world of matter received its shape from diabolic power.

Czeslaw Milosz, "Theodicy" from The Collected Poems: 1931-1987. Copyright © 1988 by Czeslaw Milosz Royalties, Inc. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
Source: The Collected Poems: 1931-1987 (The Ecco Press, 1988)
More Poems by Czeslaw Milosz