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Neven Karlovac is an engineer and a business executive living in Pacific Palisades. Interested in poetry since youth, he discovered later that poetry is lighter to carry around on business travels, and that reciting poetry is the best cure for commuting pains. But he got really hooked after discovering Czeslav Milosz: he found in this Nobel prize-winning poet a real soul mate in spite of his intimidating Polish name (fyi, it is pronounced "Cheswav Miwosh'). Neven will recite a selection of his favorite Milosz poems at the April Moonday.

Neven is attracted by Milosz's enormous erudition and philosophical depth and a rare ability to speak simply and directly to the heart. Here is one of his earliest and most beautiful poems:


We were riding through frozen fields in a wagon at dawn.
A red wing rose in the darkness.

And suddenly a hare ran across the road.
One of us pointed to it with his hand.

That was long ago. Today neither of them is alive,
Not the hare, nor the man who made the gesture.

O my love, where are they, where are they going
The flash of a hand, streak of movement, rustle of pebbles.
I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder.




By Czeslaw Milosz from New and Collected Poems 1931-2001, Ecco/HarperCollins, translated by Czeslaw Milosz and Lillian Vallee

© Czeslaw Milosz and Lillian Vallee

Some other poems and more information about Milosz and his work can be found on the following web sites:



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