Thursday, May 23, 2013

The History of My Stupidity Will Not Be Written. For One Thing It Is Late, and the Truth Is Laborious


Czeslaw Milosz

Translated by Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass, and Renata Gorczynski

The history of my stupidity would fill many volumes.

Some would be devoted to acting against consciousness,
Like the flight of a moth which, had it known,
Would have tended nevertheless towards the candle's flame.

Others would deal with ways to silence anxiety,
The little whisper which, though it is a warning, is ignored.

I would deal separately with satisfaction and pride,
The time when I was among their adherents
Who strut victoriously, unsuspecting.

But all of them would have one subject, desire,
Of only my own - but no, not at all; alas
I was driven because I wanted to be like others.
I was afraid of what was wild and indecent in me.

The history of my stupidity will not be written.
For one thing it is late. And the truth is laborious.


  1. speaking of the history of one's one stupidity, i have regretted writing a check for a deposit on new windows for the house last night - i've stopped payment on the check, will submit the 'three day cooling off' paperwork to the company -

    i feel like a fool, but in fact i am a fool, and fortunately there is a federal law to help fools like me

    ve get too soon oldt, too late schmardt

  2. I like the poem. And thanks for the link.

  3. from my 'port through the trees comment last .. " the aim is " on talk '

  4. Thanks for the Milosz!

  5. Magnificent poem. I'll bring and read at the next meeting of comrades.

    Also (I hope this is alright to say out loud, since Richard's personal tragedy, his writing has been elevated to a whole higher level. Absolutely riveting. Bravo, Richard!