Reimagining American Community
Feb
15

Here’s a little poem to carry you through the weekend, by the incomparable Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004): Pole, Catholic, Nobel Prize winner, one recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations” at Yad Vashem, and later in life an American citizen. A verse from Milosz’s poem, “You Who Wronged,” is inscribed on a monument that stands in Gdansk, Poland, honoring ship workers killed during the early days of the Solidarity movement.

Meaning

When I die, I will see the lining of the world.
The other side, beyond bird, mountain, sunset.
The true meaning, ready to be decoded.
What never added up will add Up,
What was incomprehensible will be comprehended.
– And if there is no lining to the world?
If a thrush on a branch is not a sign,
But just a thrush on the branch? If night and day
Make no sense following each other?
And on this earth there is nothing except this earth?
– Even if that is so, there will remain
A word wakened by lips that perish,
A tireless messenger who runs and runs
Through interstellar fields, through the revolving galaxies,
And calls out, protests, screams.

About the Author
Mark Gordon is a descendant of a Scottish prisoner of war sold into indentured servitude in 1652. The Gordons have been trapped in New England ever since. Mark earned a degree in philosophy and then worked as a commercial fisherman, Army officer, trade magazine editor, and serial entrepreneur, which just shows what you can do with a degree in philosophy. He’s written for the National Catholic Register, Mars Hill Journal, Aleteia, and a lot of little publications of no one has ever heard of.