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PREPARATION.

By Czeslaw Milosz, from Unattainable Earth, published in 1986 by the Ecco Press. Milosz is the author of many books, including Bells in Winter and Road-Side Dog. In 1980, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

   Still one more year of preparation
   Tomorrow at the latest I'll start working on a
   great book
   In which my century will appear as it really was.
   The sun will rise over the righteous and the
   wicked.
   Springs and autumns will unerringly return,
   In a wet thicket a thrush will build his nest
   lined with clay
   And foxes will learn their foxy natures.

   And that will be the subject, with addenda.
   Also: armies
   Running across frozen plains, shouting a curse
   In a many-voiced chorus; the cannon of a tank
   Growing immense at the corner of a street; the
   ride at dusk
   Into a camp with watchtowers and barbed wire.

   No it won't happen tomorrow. In five or ten
   years.
   I still think too much about the mothers
   And ask what is man born of woman.
   He curls himself up and protects his head
   While he is kicked by heavy boots; on fire and
   running,
   He burns with bright flame; a bulldozer sweeps
   him into a clay pit.
   Her child. Embracing a teddy bear. Conceived
   in ecstasy.

   I haven't learned yet to speak as I should, calmly.
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Author:Milosz, Czeslaw
Publication:Harper's Magazine
Article Type:Poem
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2000
Words:222
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