7. I Always Liked
-From A Theological Treatise byCzeslaw Milosz
I always liked Mickiewicz, though I didn’t know why.
Then I realized that he was writing in cipher.
And that this was a rule of poetry,
The distance between what we know and what we reveal.
It’s what’s inside the shell that matters. And it’s all right if readers play with shells.
The errors and childish imaginings of the explorers Of mysteries should be forgiven.
I have been mocked because of Swedenborg and like nonsense,
For I transgressed the rules of literary fashion.
The louts grimaced
As they discussed my pious, childish superstitions.
Which did not want to accept the only knowledge
Accessible to us, that people are formed by people,
And that they, together, create something that they call truth.
While I had to believe in Adam and Eve, and in the Fall,
And in the hope of Restoration.