Czeslaw Milosz

Additional notice for the Nobel-winning poet

George Gomori's obituary for Czeslaw Milosz [16 August], excellent though it is, is out-of-date with regard to the poet's publications in English, writes Clive Wilmer. The Penguin
Collected Poems, 1931-1987 was updated in 2002, when Allen Lane published
New and Collected Poems, 1931-2001.

George Gomori's obituary for Czeslaw Milosz [16 August], excellent though it is, is out-of-date with regard to the poet's publications in English, writes Clive Wilmer. The Penguin Collected Poems, 1931-1987 was updated in 2002, when Allen Lane published New and Collected Poems, 1931-2001.

This is no small matter. From the intervening period Milosz was able to add 150 new poems, bringing the book up to 800 pages: this from a man in his eighties. Among the new poems is a long poem from an earlier period, which Milosz had previously thought untranslatable: A Treatise on Poetry, the Polish text of which Gömöri mentions. It is also available as a separate book from Ecco Press in New York. In 2002, moreover, Farrar, Straus and Giroux published the 478 pages of To Begin Where I Am: selected essays, now the indispensable beginning for anyone wishing the master the range of Milosz's ideas.

Milosz introduced his best-known Polish contemporary to English speakers in the Selected Poems of Zbigniew Herbert, which he translated with Peter Dale Scott. Published by Penguin in 1968, this volume launched the translation boom of that period, memorably recalled by Seamus Heaney in an essay called "The Impact of Translation".

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