The earth is not a dream but living flesh

California garden views. Photo by me.

by Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004)

Hope is with you when you believe
The earth is not a dream but living flesh,
That sight, touch, and hearing do not lie,
That all things you have ever seen here
Are like a garden looked at from a gate.

You cannot enter. But you’re sure it’s there.
Could we but look more clearly and wisely
We might discover somewhere in the garden
A strange new flower and an unnamed star.

Some people say we should not trust our eyes,
That there is nothing, just a seeming,
These are the ones who have no hope.
They think that the moment we turn away,
The world, behind our backs, ceases to exist,
As if snatched up by the hands of thieves.

Translated by Czeslaw Milosz and Robert Hass


One thought on “The earth is not a dream but living flesh

  1. Hi there,

    I thought you might be interested in my poem…

    Thanks for doing what you do!


    Georgianne Cowan


    Her green eyes scan the horizon, all-seeing and steady. From her breasts bloom orchids, camellias and peonies. From her belly, meadows, deserts and valleys. Giant Sequoia, Elm and Oak spring from her heart. Her veins surge with rivers and spill into oceans, tributaries and deltas. Her womb, plump with apples and passion fruit nourishes even the heartless. Leopards and elephants, sparrows and chimpanzees forage over her mountains. Mighty arms reach through the atmosphere, the weather, the tidal fluctuations and finally, the tattered veil of invincibility. Embracing all there is… ”Us…Them…It,” the entire cacophony of mortal destinies

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