Czeslaw Milosz again…


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


One of those poems – The first time I read that, I didn’t get it at all. Then I read it again, and I interpreted it my own way. But I am still not sure I get it. What is your interpretation?


Posted on January 28, 2005, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Hmmm I don’t think I follow it literaly but I think it means that we come across certain people and certain incidences along the course of life. They do their work for us (I wish I could it better) and leave at the appropriate time (and life finds an excuse for them to). Life moves on . . .

  2. Nostalgia. Memories. Partuclar space. Particular time. People. Places. Happenings. Impressions. A certain sort of feeling then. A certain sort of feeling no more.

    ” I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder”
    One reconciles with life and change but one often wonders about the magic of certain moments, certain encounters, and if life will present such meetings, movements and settings again.

    “I interpreted it my own way. But I am still not sure I get it. “
    What the poet is saying can never be known anyway, even if he tries and explains it. There is so much that the words hide, mysteries of thoughts. Your interpretation is also one way of understanding it, and perhaps there are no questions of a right/wrong interpretation in such things!

    • Ah, I like that explanation – that idea of reconciliation with life and change, but the nostalgic wonder about the past. Yeah, I think that’s more like it.

      I took it a bit more literally, I thought he was trying to say something about the environment which is why it didn’t make too much sense for me. Quite surely, that was the wrong interpretation. 🙂

  3. Sometimes you remember disconnected and seemingly insignificant events from the past, that you are sure will forget again, but when the memory lasts, you wonder why remembered that, of all the things that have happened to you.

    I really wonder at my fickle and selective memory. Particular instances of no importance at all – moments from daily life in the past – etched in memory – recalled briefly and then soon forgotten…

    Milosz captures that feeling perfectly (for me at least). Thanks for posting this.

  4. do this :
    stand in the quiet of dawn or of night, either early or late where the sounds are few but resounding.

    close your eyes. think of the first friend you can remember. in school. each of us had our own games, our worlds. think of that world.

    and as those thoughts flood, switch to last year. think of where you were exactly at the same moment as you are now.

    that feeling is the feeling.

    life is beautiful. it does not value us, we value it. and that is where all its beauty roots.

    • strangely enuf, i was at the beach yesterday night. Hardly anyone around, and that incredible sense of punctuated stillness. While i thought of different things, I think I know exactly what you mean.

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