This Only

by Czeslaw Milosz

English version by Robert Hass
Original Language Polish

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.

-- from The Collected Poems, by Czeslaw Milosz

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Recommended Books: Czeslaw Milosz

New and Collected Poems 1931 - 2001
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The Collected Poems
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Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness
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To Begin Where I Am: The Selected Prose of Czeslaw Milosz
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This Only