Czeslaw Milosz Poems

Czeslaw Milosz was a Polish American poet, translator, and diplomat. Today he is considered one of the most important poets of the 20th century. In 1980, he won the Noble Prize in Literature. Throughout his work, he explores themes like faith in history, inspired by his survival of the German occupation of Warsaw during World War II.

A Poor Christian Looks at the Ghetto

by Czeslaw Milosz

‘A Poor Christian Looks at the Ghetto’ by Czeslaw Milosz presents a description of the Warsaw Ghetto from the eyes of a “poor Christian.”

This is a poem by Czeslaw Milosz, a renowned Polish poet known for his deep philosophical reflections on the human condition. This poem, like many of Milosz's works, is characterized by its powerful use of imagery and symbolism, as well as its intellectual rigor and emotional depth. It is a truly wonderful and heartbreaking example of the poet's writing. Often, this poem is ranked among Milosz's best.

Bees build around red liver,

Ants build around black bone.

It has begun: the tearing, the trampling on silks,

It has begun: the breaking of glass, wood, copper, nickel, silver, foam

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