Thursday, January 22, 2015

from Abecadlo Milosza by Czeslaw Milosz 

My grandparents took me along once on a visit to Suryszki. The manor belonged to the Kudrewiczes. They are an old noble family, probably of Lithuanian descent, because the word kudra means "pond" in that language. I was, I think, eight years old. The old folks gossiped and entrusted me to a young girl, who was to show me the park. We walked along the paths, crossed some little bridges which had railings made of birch poles—I remember that well. Then it happened. I looked at her thin bare shoulders, the narrowness of her arms above the elbow, and an emotion I had never experienced, a tenderness, a rapture, unnamable, welled up in my throat. I had no idea that this is called love. I think she must have said something, explaining, but I said not a word, struck dumb by what had suddenly come over me.

She surely had a name, but I have no idea what it was. No doubt she, like her entire family, was deported to Siberia in 1940. What happened to her?

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