Saturday, March 5, 2016

Because I have friends who are sad, I thought I'd share this.
from Czeslaw Milosz, Abecadlo Milosza (Milosz's ABCs), translated from the Polish by Madeline G. Levine 
Time. . . . To think about time means to think about human life, and this is such a broad topic that to consider it means to think in general. The differences that divide us--sex, race, skin color, customs, beliefs, ideas--pale in comparison with the fact that we are all woven out of time, that we are born and we die, mayflies who live but a day. The inconceivable "now" escapes backward or inclines forward, it is already a memory or an aspiration. Speech, in which we communicate, is modulated time, just like music. And do not painting and architecture translate rhythm into space? 
I am filled with the memory of people who lived and died. I write about them, conscious all the while that in a moment, I, too, will be gone. Together we are like a cloud or a nebula among the human constellations of the twentieth century. . . .
Edgar Allan Poe referred to the melancholy of transience as the most poetic of tonalities. We read poems written thousands of years ago, and everywhere there is the same lament, a meditation on the river's current, on our appearance and disappearance.

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