From the Poetry Center Archive: Czesław Miłosz at 100
Last March, the 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center, in collaboration with the Polish Cultural Institute, presented a centennial celebration of Czesław Miłosz, with readings and remembrances by Clare Cavanagh, Robert Hass and Adam Zagajewski.
In honor of Miłosz’s centennial, (his actual birthday was June 30, 1911. Google celebrated with a Google Doodle!), we share an excerpt from that tribute, which opened with a recording of Miłosz reading from his poem “Report” (from a 1993 appearance at the Poetry Center) and ended with Zagajewski’s readings of “Yellow Bicycle” and “Mittelbergheim.”
“What distinguishes Miłosz as a poet,” wrote fellow Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, in a recent commemoration published in The Guardian, “is the abundance and spontaneity of the work, his at-homeness in so many different genres and landscapes, his desire for belief and his equally acute skepticism. Chiefly, however, what irradiates the poetry and compels the reader is a quality of wisdom. Everything is carried and feels guaranteed by the voice.”
In an ongoing effort to share with our readers some of the great literary moments which the Poetry Center has presented across the decades, this blog has begun to feature regular postings of archival recordings. For access to other recordings, please click here.
Unterberg Poetry Center webcasts and access to our archive are made possible in part by the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.