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Eyes -- Czeslaw Milosz

Guest poem submitted by Sarah Korah :
(Poem #1758) Eyes
 My most honorable eyes, you are not in the best of shape.
 I receive from you an image less than sharp,
 And if a color, then it's dimmed.
 And you were a pack of royal greyhounds once,
 With whom I would set out in the early mornings.
 My wondrously quick eyes, you saw many things,
 Lands and cities, islands and oceans.
 Together we greeted immense sunrises
 When the fresh air set us running on the trails
 Where the dew had just begun to dry.
 Now what you have seen is hidden inside me
 And changed into memories or dreams.
 I am slowly moving away from the fairgrounds of the world
 And I notice in myself a distaste
 For the monkeyish dress, the screams and drumbeats.
 What a relief. To be alone with my meditation
 On the basic similarity in humans
 And their tiny grain of dissimilarity.
 Without eyes, my gaze is fixed on one bright point,
 That grows large and takes me in.
-- Czeslaw Milosz
I was reminded of this poem when my hardy 93 year old grandfather complained
of a slight loss of hearing. He was also rather upset about the fact that he
can *only* walk a couple of kilometers these days.

I confess we grandchildren shared smiles while thinking 'Hey, we'd be lucky
to be half as fit as you when we're in our 70's.'... But then it occurred to
me that sights, sounds and memories, mobility and independence - these are
important at any age.

Few poets have inhabited the land of old age as long or as energetically as
Milosz [1911-2003]. A self proclaimed "one day's master", Milosz had a great
capacity to both confront the world's suffering and embrace its joys.

Wistfulness, acceptance, even a little humour - this short poem has it all.

Sarah Korah.

Minstrels has write-ups on Milosz, so I'm spared the trouble. And yes, my
grandfather seems quite happy with his new hearing aid :-)

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