After World War II, Milosz was appointed cultural attaché of the communist People's Republic of Poland in Paris. He defected to France in 1951 and emigrated to the United States in 1960. In 1961, he was appointed Professor of Polish literature in the Department of Slavic Languages at the University of California, Berkeley.
In 1953 Milosz received the Prix Littéraire Européen. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980.
The following poem by Milosz was written in Polish and translated into English by the author.
INCANTATIONPaul Feyerabend (1924-1994), a distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley revealed the true New World Order essence of the poem in the following analysis.*
Human reason is beautiful and invincible; (1)
No bars, no barbed wire, no pulping of books,
no sentence of banishment can prevail agaist it.
It establishes universal ideas in language
and guides our hand to write Truth and Justice (5)
with capital letters, and lie and oppression with small.
It puts what should be above things as they are
it is the enemy of despair and the friend of hope.
It does not know the Jew from the Greek or slave from master
giving us the estate of the World to manage. (10)
It saves austere and transparent phrases
from filthy discord of tortured words.
It says that everything is new under the sun,
opens the congealed fist of the past.
Beautiful and ver young are Philo-Sophia (15)
and poetry, her ally in the service of the Good.
As late as yesterday Nature celebrated her birth.
The news was brought to the mountains by a unicorn and an echo
Their friendships will be glorious, they have no limit.
Their enemies have delivered themselves to destruction. (20)
"Destruction" (20) threatens the opponents of a non-regional Reason intent on "manag[ing] the estate of the world" (10) without any "filthy discord of tortured words" (12), i.e., without democratic discussion. "Destruction" did indeed remove all those small and well-adapted societies that were in the way of the expansion of Western civilization, even thought they tried to defend their rights with "tortured words." Noble reason, on the other hand, is hardly "invincible" (1); prophets, salesmen, politicians, warriors, bent on torture, rape and murder trample it underfoot, the alleged friends of reason distort it to make it fit their intentions. The sciences of the past have showered us with useful and terrible gifts - but without employing a single unchangeable and "invincible" agency.And, as Feyerabend might have added had he written today, this is the attitude of those intent on the destruction of the Western nation states, their identities, and their heritage, cultural, religious and racial.
The sciences of today are business enterprises run on business principles - just remember the haggling about the financing of the human genome project and the Texas supercollider. Research in large institutes is not guided by Truth and Reason but by the most rewarding fashion and the Great Minds of today increasingly turn to where the money is, which for a long time meant military research.
Not "Truth" is taught at our universities, but the opinion of the influential schools. ... "Truth" written with "capital letters" (6) is an orphan in this world, withou power and influence and fortunately so, for the creature Milosz praises under this name could only lead to the most abject slavery. It cannot stand diverging opinions - it calls them "lies" (6); it puts iself "above" (7) the real lives of human beings, demanding, like all totalitarian ideologies, the right to rebuild the world from the height of "whatever should be" (7), i.e., in accordance with its own "invincible" (1) precepts. It fails, even refuses to recognize the many ideas, actions, feelings, laws, institutions, racial features which separate one nation (culture, civilization) from another and which alone give us people, i.e., creatures with faces (9).
The early philosophers, Xenophanes and Parmenides among them, took individual faces away from the gods and replaced them, by faceless principles. Milosz, the humanitarian, goes one step further. He takes faces away from people and replaces them by a faceless abstract and uniform notion of humanity.
This is the attitude that destroyed Indian cultural achievements in the USA without as much as a glance in their direction; this is the attitide that later destroyed may non-Western cultures under the guise of "development." Conceited, self-satisfied and utterly blind is this faith in Truth and Reason for which a democratic discussion is but a "filthy discord of tortured words" (12) - and also very uninformed: philosophy was never the "ally" (15) of poetry; not in antiquity when Plato sple of the "ancient battle between philosophy and poetry" (Republic 607b6f), not today when Truth is sought in the sciences, when poetry is reduced to the expression of feelings and when philosophy is interpreted (by deconstructionists) as a poetry not aware of its true nature. It is amazing how many idiocies can be stuffed into a single poem - it can't have been "a unicorn and an echo" that brought "the news" - it most certainly was an old and decrepit donkey.
* Paul Feyerabend, the Tyranny of Science, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2011.
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