The Farrar, Straus and Giroux Poetry Blog

April 24, 2007

"A Red Wing Rose In The Darkness"

Two more poems, both beautifully set up by Gjertrud Schnackenberg. In these, she tackles the topic of Czeslaw Milosz and two of his poems--'If There Is No God' and 'Encounter.'

Here is a passage from her introduction to 'If There Is No God' that I find quite striking:

"When I first read this poem, 'If There Is No God,' which Czeslaw Milosz wrote when he was in his early 90s, I was reminded of Michaelangelo's old age, when a witness to his work said that sparks flew from under his chisel. And especially I was reminded of that last vanishing in stone, Pieta, which Michaelangelo was overheard to be hammering and chiseling in his apartment in Rome until a week before his death at the age of 89."

There's more here and here, or in the audio below.

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