Spotlight Poetry – In Music – A Poem by Czeslaw Milosz

The image depicts a painting titled Wedding by the artist Sara Cutler. The work is a vibrant naive figurative painting of a simple country wedding procession. The image supports the poem In Music written by the poet Czeslaw Milosz.
© Sara Cutler, Wedding, 2017

In Music by Czeslaw Milosz

Translated by Czeslaw Milosz and Robert Hass

Wailing of a flute, a little drum.
A small wedding cortege accompanies a couple
Going past clay houses on the street of a village.

In the dress of the bride much white satin.
How many pennies put away to sew it, once in a lifetime.
The dress of the groom black, festively stiff.
The flute tells something to the hills, parched, the colour of deer.
Hens scratch in dry mounds of manure.

I have not seen it, I summoned it listening to music.
The instruments play for themselves, in their own eternity.
Lips glow, agile fingers work, so short a time.
Soon afterwards the pageant sinks into the earth.
But the sound endures, autonomous, triumphant,
For ever visited by, each time returning,

The warm touch of cheeks, interiors of houses,
And particular human lives
Of which the chronicles make no mention.

Poem Attribution © Czeslaw Milosz, In Music

Source Attribution Music’s Spell, Ed. Emily Fragos, Pub. Alfred A. Knopf

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Painting Attribution © Sara Cutler, Wedding, 2017

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