Treasure Island

Czeslaw Milosz

(30 June 1911 – 14 August 2004 / Kedainiai)

A Magic Mountain


I don’t remember exactly when Budberg died, it was either two years
ago or three.
The same with Chen. Whether last year or the one before.
Soon after our arrival, Budberg, gently pensive,
Said that in the beginning it is hard to get accustomed,
For here there is no spring or summer, no winter or fall.


“I kept dreaming of snow and birch forests.
Where so little changes you hardly notice how time goes by.
This is, you will see, a magic mountain.”


Budberg: a familiar name in my childhood.
They were prominent in our region,
This Russian family, descendants of German Balts.
I read none of his works, too specialized.
And Chen, I have heard, was an exquisite poet,
Which I must take on faith, for he wrote in Chinese.


Sultry Octobers, cool Julys, trees blossom in February.
Here the nuptial flight of hummingbirds does not forecast spring.
Only the faithful maple sheds its leaves every year.
For no reason, its ancestors simply learned it that way.


I sensed Budberg was right and I rebelled.
So I won’t have power, won’t save the world?
Fame will pass me by, no tiara, no crown?
Did I then train myself, myself the Unique,
To compose stanzas for gulls and sea haze,
To listen to the foghorns blaring down below?


Until it passed. What passed? Life.
Now I am not ashamed of my defeat.
One murky island with its barking seals
Or a parched desert is enough
To make us say: yes, oui, si.
'Even asleep we partake in the becoming of the world.”
Endurance comes only from enduring.
With a flick of the wrist I fashioned an invisible rope,
And climbed it and it held me.


What a procession! Quelles délices!
What caps and hooded gowns!
Most respected Professor Budberg,
Most distinguished Professor Chen,
Wrong Honorable Professor Milosz
Who wrote poems in some unheard-of tongue.
Who will count them anyway. And here sunlight.
So that the flames of their tall candles fade.
And how many generations of hummingbirds keep them company
As they walk on. Across the magic mountain.
And the fog from the ocean is cool, for once again it is July.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

improve

Comments about this poem (A Magic Mountain by Czeslaw Milosz )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. The CPI(M) , The Aim & Motive of It (The.., Bijay Kant Dubey
  2. Rings I Have Worn, Susan Lacovara
  3. Is The CPI(M) Itself Good And Gentle?, Bijay Kant Dubey
  4. A daily fun!, PARTHA SARATHI PAUL
  5. Ray of Hope, Col Muhamad Khalid Khan
  6. National flag., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  7. Examined, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  8. Trance in the rain, Nassy Fesharaki
  9. Azal se mauzood hoon..., Azhar Sabri
  10. Time Chases Me, Neela Nath

Poem of the Day

poet Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet John Todhunter

 

Member Poem

[Hata Bildir]