“Two Poets” in Czesław Miłosz’s Unknown Letters and Other Writings Cover Image

“Two Poets” in Czesław Miłosz’s Unknown Letters and Other Writings
“Two Poets” in Czesław Miłosz’s Unknown Letters and Other Writings

Author(s): Marta Anna Skwara
Subject(s): Literary Texts, Poetry
Published by: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Szczecińskiego
Keywords: Polish and world poetry; Iowa Writing Program; Czesław Miłosz; Artur Międzyrzecki; Ernets Bryll; Tadeusz Różewicz; Robinson Jeffers

Summary/Abstract: Miłosz’s recently discovered letters to Paul Engle, the director of The Iowa Writing Program at the University of Iowa, give an impulse to a more comprehensive discussion on Miłosz’s literary tastes and literary opinions expressed both in his private and public writings. Having analyzed the content of the letters, in particular those promoting Artur Międzyrzecki’s candidature for the IWP and thus favoring him above other Polish poets, including Tadeusz Różewicz, the authoress discusses Miłosz’s literary relationships with Różewicz and his attitude to Robinson Jeffers, mentioned together with Różewicz as examples of “atheist despair” in a recently published letter to Jan Błoński. It seems clear that Miłosz preferred poets of culture to those who were “nihilistic” or “barbarian,” even if, as the authoress emphasizes, they were precisely the poets with whom he conducted a lifelong literary dialogue. Although favoring Międzyrzecki seems to have been simply biased, and even if it was most of all motivated by a wish to help a friend in need, it might have also been generated by strong opinions of what poetry is and what it should be according to the author of The Captive Mind.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 175-203
  • Page Count: 29
  • Language: English