Second Space: New Poems
Ecco, 2004 (2004)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
zeslaw Milosz, who won the 1980 Nobel Prize in Literature, died in 2004. Though this slim anthology,
, presents the verses of his old age, many a celebrated younger poet would be proud to have written them. I am embarrassed to admit that I had not read this eminent author's work before, and will seek more of his books. I found his style similar to that of poet Robert Graves. They both write with a spare clarity.
, Milosz explores the inconveniences of ageing and the last big questions of life - why would a higher being countenance atrocity, and what comes after? Here are some of his verses that especially spoke to me. On his blurring vision, he tells us that '
Without eyes, my gaze is fixed on one bright point, / That grows large and takes me in.
' In '
On Old Women
' who have seen and suffered too much, the poet hopes for them that '
May the day of your death not be a day of hopelessness, but of trust in the light that shines through earthly forms.
' Milosz's final verses often reflect a struggle of faith, but they just as frequently soar on wings of hope - I love his '
Orpheus and Eurydice
', including '
He sang of smoking water in the rose-colored daybreaks ... Of the scent of an armful of lilacs in summer rain, / Of his having composed his words always against death / And of having made no rhyme in praise of nothingness.
zeslaw Milosz speaks of moments that '
lifted me above my lameness
' - '
amazements, at a sun-streak on a wall, at the trill of an oriole, a face, an iris, a volume of poems
'. His last volume of poems has indeed amazed me, his reader. There is no lameness in this great soul, and I highly commend
Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.
Find more NonFiction books on our
or in our book