there are no means in the world to counter it now logic proceeds reading czeslaw milosz and also living in this small green story it becomes apparent that many things with competing interests should be must be can be true at the same time the poem shimmers floats explodes strips accretes renders and poetry can be must be should be more their decorous voices tucked behind my ear my shibboleth ears hemmed-in behind your trail of voices
The same and not quite the same, I walked through oak forests
Amazed that my Muse, Mnemosyne,
Has in no way diminished my amazement.
A magpie was screeching and I said: Magpiety?
What is magpiety? I shall never achieve
A magpie heart, a hairy nostril over the beak, a flight
That always renews just when coming down,
And so I shall never comprehend magpiety.
If however magpiety does not exist
My nature does not exist either.
Who would have guessed that, centuries later,
I would invent the question of universals?
It does not know it glitters
It does not know it flies
It does not know it is this not that.
And, more and more often, agape,
With my Gauloise dying out,
Over a glass of red wine,
I muse on the meaning of being this not that.
Just as long ago, when I was twenty,
But then there was a hope I would be everything,
Perhaps even a butterfly or a thrush, by magic.
Now I see dusty district roads
And a town where the postmaster gets drunk every day
Melancholy with remaining identical to himself.
If only the stars contained me.
If only everything kept happening in such a way
That the so-called world opposed the so-called flesh.
Were I at least not contradictory. Alas.
Source: Miłosz, Czesław. New and Collected Poems 1931-2001. New York: Ecco, 2001. Print. Page 164.