Czesław Miłosz - a poet far from home, Nobel Prize Winner



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Czesław Miłosz was born on 30 June 1911 in Lithuanian Szetejnie as the first child of Aleksander Miłosz and Weronika Kunat. Szetejnie is situated near the Niewiąza river in Kiejdan's district and it had a great influence on Miłosz's compositions. He referred to his remembered, Lithuanian childhood moments very often. Szetejnie was ancestral assets and Miłosz's family had wide and primeval noble origin. The poet's early childhood was the time of crazy travel and sometimes incredible occurences. In 1913 he left with his parents for Asian Krasnodarsk and after that for Russia, because his father was sent to Russian army. In 1917 in Rżewie young Miłosz could look at the Bolshevik Red Revolution very closely. Pictures from that time were living in Miłosz's memory for all his life. We can see them in his poems, f.e. Issa's Valley, Family Europe or in his autobiography Czesław Miłosz's contradictory self-portrait.

Miłosz came back to his peaceful, „village” life in „Ocalenie” ( Saving )and „Na brzegu rzeki” ( On the River Bank )collection of poems. „Na brzegu rzeki” was published in 1994. Childhood often appears in his poetry. He looked for his identity and nationality, so he had to face time which had passed away. He lived in Szetejnice in 1918 again. He looked for his identity and nationality, so he had to face time which had passed away. He lived in Szetejnice in 1918 again. He became a student of Zygmunt August's Junior High School in 1921. He started studying at Stefan Batory's University in Vilnuis in 1929. He made his debut in 1930. His poems „Kompozycja” ( Composition )and „Podróż” ( The Journey ) were published in „Alma Mater Vilnensis” quality paper. He travelled to Paris next year. It was also the first time he had met a poet Oskar Miłosz.

In 1935 Miłosz comes back and starts to work in ‘Polskie Radio’ (Polish Radio) in Wilno. It’s a very hard time for Poland, when radical national Right Wing starts to dominate on the political stage. That’s why, after a year, Miłosz is dismissed because of his liberalism and judging cultural phenomena from estetic perspective. In 1936 Miłosz publishes first volume of his poems called ‘Trzy zimy’ (Three winters), where he focuses on catastrophism. It’s a big success for young Miłosz and becomes an important event in Polish literary life. Many significant Polish critics are talking about his poems, where they see characteristic for Miłosz lyrical tone, combining universal perspective, full of historical entanglement with individual experience, reffered to reception of ambient world.

The events of the year 1939 give a real meaning to the poetics of the generation of “Żagary”. In September Miłosz goes to war as an employee of the radio. When the Red Army enters the territory of the Polish state the poet escapes to Romania. He decides to return to country instead of going west. In January he is in Vilnius and when the Red Army occupies Lithuania he sneaks to Warsaw. He actively participates in the underground literary life of the occupied capital. As Jan Syruć he publishes ‘Poems’. It is the first such publication during the war. During this period Miłosz and other writers meet in Krzeszowice and debate about literature and poetry. Their correspondence will be published in later years. In 1942 Miłosz publishes “Independent Song”, an anthology of patriotic poems, very important for “underground Warsaw”. War time is a very intense period for Czesław Miłosz as a writer. His poems written during the occupation are published after the war in a collection entitled “Rescue”.

After the Warsaw Uprising he is in Goszyce. In 1945 he moves to Cracow. Here he writes "Enslaved Mind" and "Power Gaining". Miłosz is an editor of the monthly newspaper "Twórczość" and he publishes "Saving" - a big volume of poetry with postwar and ocupation texts. The most important part of collection is "Świat" - collection of texts with easy and cheerful issues. The poet writes about blood, fire, pathos, pain and childhood memories from Szetejnia. "Saving" not only surprises the critics and the readers but also delights at the same time. In years 1945-1951 Miłosz works as a clerk in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is PRL'attaché' in New York, later in Paris. In 1948 he announces "Moral Treaty". Despite of the censorship "Moral Treaty"is published.

From 1961 to 1998 he was a professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley. He became a U.S. citizen in 1970. In 1978 he was awarded the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and in 1980 the Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1999 he was named a Puterbaugh Fellow. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, he divided his time between Berkeley, California, and Kraków, Poland.

Klaudia,Androniki, Kinga, Iwetta, Theodora

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so romantic poems has created !

Posted on 27/04/15 22:31.

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