Guest poem submitted by Sarah Korah :
(Poem #1731) Nonadaptation
I was not made to live anywhere except in Paradise. Such, simply, was my genetic inadaptation. Here on earth every prick of a rose-thorn changed into a wound. whenever the sun hid behind a cloud, I grieved. I pretended to work like others from morning to evening, but I was absent, dedicated to invisible countries. For solace I escaped to city parks, there to observe and faithfully describe flowers and trees, but they changed, under my hand, into the gardens of Paradise. I have not loved a woman with my five senses. I only wanted from her my sister, from before the banishment. And I respected religion, for on this earth of pain it was a funereal and a propitiatory song.
As a statement of intent, and as a memorable first line, Milosz makes things very clear by saying "I was not made to live anywhere except in Paradise". Yet in typical Milosz style, what follows is NOT a funny, escapist take on life. Instead we're treated to 13 lines of intelligent, memorable poetry. It amuses me that whenever I quote from this poem, I tend to choose the light hearted lines ("I pretended to work like others from morning to evening, but I was absent, dedicated to invisible countries.").. and people naturally assume that it's from a funny poem. Talk of taking a quote out of context ! Czeslaw Milosz's bio, and more of his poems, can be found on minstrels at http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/poems/1599.html Sarah Korah.