Remembering Czesław Miłosz (1911–2004)

“Czesław Miłosz” © 2020 by Michael Anthony Milton. All rights reserved.

Last night, I thought of Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004). (Pronounced: Chefwash Miyosh). So, I drew his likeness, displayed here.

I learned that he died – one of my favorite poets, who wrote about the horrors of the Cold War (now, it seems, forgotten) – on the morning when my family and I were in Aberdeen, Scotland. We were on High Street. I was sitting at an outside café, having coffee, reading the Times, when I saw his obituary. It just happens to be one of those moments that I recall. I served in Naval Intellignce in the Cold War. I met many refugees from Communist countries, all with unique and yet similar stories. Those who advocate Socialism should read his stark poetry, and prose about exile from his home of Poland (and Lithuania). Milosz taught at Stanford. Like so many Communist exiles, he, and my professors at the Defence Language Institute in Monterey, sought and found refuge in Gov. Reagan’s sraunch anti-Communist State of California. Much has changed.

Some Lines from Czesław Miłosz

“The living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story for them.”
― Czesław Miłosz, The Issa Valley

“There is the warm, human presence of a God who took on flesh in order to experience our hunger and our pain, so we would not be doomed to strain our eyes upward but could be nourished by words spoken by lips like our own. And the God-man is not one of us in our moments of pride and glory but one of us in misfortune, in slavery, and in the fear of death. The hour when he agreed to accept suffering conquers time; centuries of change and passing civilizations are insignificant and short-lived, and no wasteland of cement, glass, and metal will make man different from those men Christ addressed in Galilee. He still has the right to proclaim: ‘I am love.’” On Catholicism, 1984.

About Michael A. Milton, Ph.D.

Michael A. Milton, Ph.D., MPA (University of Wales; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), is an American Presbyterian pastor, theologian, and author.
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