The Paris Review

Five Complaints

(Containing sundrie small Poemes of the Worlds Vanitie.)


Suppose you want to know whether a given Czesław Miłosz poem rhymes in the original. Or you want to know if it’s in meter. If you don’t speak Polish, friend, you have some serious fuss ahead of you.

Tell you one thing. You won’t find out by reading the introduction to any English translation of Miłosz I’ve ever looked at. Questions of this sort are regarded as matters of absolutely no interest. Why would you want to know anything about a poet’s prosody


Books and books are translated out of Sanskrit, and the translators never tell you

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