A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry

A Book of Luminous Things An International Anthology of Poetry A collection of poems from writers around the world selected and edited by Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz Czes aw Mi osz s A Book of Luminous Things his personal selection of poems from the past a

  • Title: A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry
  • Author: Czesław Miłosz
  • ISBN: 9780156005746
  • Page: 286
  • Format: Paperback
  • A collection of 300 poems from writers around the world, selected and edited by Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz Czes aw Mi osz s A Book of Luminous Things his personal selection of poems from the past and present is a testament to the stunning varieties of human experience, offered up so that we may see the myriad ways that experience can be shared in words and images Mi o A collection of 300 poems from writers around the world, selected and edited by Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz Czes aw Mi osz s A Book of Luminous Things his personal selection of poems from the past and present is a testament to the stunning varieties of human experience, offered up so that we may see the myriad ways that experience can be shared in words and images Mi osz provides a preface to each of these poems, divided into thematic and often beguiling sections, such as Travel, History, and The Secret of a Thing, that make the reading as instructional as it is inspirational and remind us how powerfully poetry can touch our minds and hearts.

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    1. 'I have always felt that a poet participates in the management of the estate of poetry, of that in his own language and also that of world poetry.'-Czesław MiłoszFor those, like me, that always wished they could have enrolled in one of Miłosz's courses at Berkeley, can find a bit of a consolation in A Book of Luminous Things. Edited, with a wonderful introduction asserting his intention to not defend poetry but 'remind readers that for some very good reasons [poetry] may be of importance toda [...]

    2. Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004) was a Polish poet, prose writer and translator of Lithuanian origin. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980.Tomorrow, the Filipinos group here in will celebrate our 2nd year anniversary. Our main activity during the celebration will be a poetry reading. This will be our first time to have this kind of ambitious activity. As I try to read at least one work written by each of Nobel Prize awardees, I picked and read this book by Milosz. I thought I could use the p [...]

    3. This anthology was a serious underachiever – I found little excitement in it. Of course there were some good poems, but many of them so well known that they provided little surprise (ever hear of Walt Whitman?). Part of the problem is Milosz’s apparent love of the Chinese. I almost felt he would have been happier doing a whole anthology of Chinese poets. No disrespect to the Chinese, but I felt I was going to o.d. Chinese poetry is pretty much all contemplation, and unless you're looking exc [...]

    4. I bought this, along with a collection of Robert Hass essays, at the Oblong Book Store in Rhinebeck, NY, in the Hudson Valley. Visiting the Valley was more fun than visiting the City, at least for this more-rural sort, and those two books will always remind me of geography--where I was, when I was, why I was--thus gaining stature among books on my bookshelves (most with a more humble pedigree).What makes this collection is the guiding hand of Czeslaw Milosz, who made it such a personal mix chief [...]

    5. Nothing Twice-Wislawa SzymborskaNothing can ever happen twice.In consequence, the sorry fact isthat we arrive here improvisedand leave without the chance to practice. Even if there is no one dumber,if you're the planet's biggest dunce,you can't repeat the class in summer:this course is only offered once. No day copies yesterday,no two nights will teach what bliss isin precisely the same way,with precisely the same kisses. One day, perhaps some idle tonguementions your name by accident:I feel as [...]

    6. The WindowA storm blew in last night and knocked outthe electricity. When I lookedthrough the window, the trees were translucent.Bent and covered with rime. A vast calmlay over the countryside.I knew better. But at that momentI felt I’d never in my life made anyfalse promises, nor committedso much as one indecent act. My thoughtswere virtuous. Later on that morning,of course, electricity was restored.The sun moved from behind the clouds,melting hoarfrost.And things stood as they had before.~Ra [...]

    7. My clearest feeling response to this was disappointment. And I have been struggling with why. The poetry chosen by Miłosz was generally very good to excellent, but often enough flat. I somehow felt myself plodding through the collection, rather then dancing or racing. And, even worse, found myself comparing the collection to Robert Bly's enthralling and stimulating collection News of the Universe: Poems of Twofold Consciousness. I am very well aware that it does a disservice to both to compare, [...]

    8. I don't know how I would begin to review a poetry anthology, especially as my interactions with them are typically one hitter quitters, dropping in for one poem, tumbling it for a bit, and dropping back into the world. They almost become reference, right?This works well not as a reference but as something to read through, pages at a time. My attention span doesn't allow for me to stay in one steady line for too long, and the swamps of poems (these are good swamps) swamp me in in a real way.But t [...]

    9. A really wonderful anthology of international poets. Some of them are pretty old, like 1,000 years or so - but there are also lots of contemporary poets, and often the two are showcased side by side. Milosz also gives a little preface or description before a new poet or poem. Since the poems vary widely in geography, culture, and history, these little snippets really helped me to appreciate each poem and learn something new or fun.

    10. This was good, but I didn't love it. I was surprised not to love it, considering I like so many of the poets represented here. But I didn't love it. The choice of poems was - I don't know, deliberately non-magical, maybe? I'm all for everyday life - I'm a big fan of taking the ordinary and making it strange. But many of these poems were all ordinary, no strange. That said, it does have some wonders.

    11. I know -- big deal, another poetry anthology. Still, I love this one because I dig the editor's tastes, and I love that he chose poetry that is life affirming. He says, "I rejoice in being able to make an anthology as this one, and it may be a source of optimism that in this cruel century such an anthology could be made." Amen.

    12. gostei muito mais das escolhas de poemas das partes finais, e por isso a leitura se arrastou até chegar lá. tem poema de todo tipo, então pode ser interessante pra descobrir autores obscuros (principalmente chineses, que pelo jeito milosz adora os chineses).

    13. It was a decent selection of poems. Fewer indigenous tribal poems and a bit heavy on Polish poets. Some time of the editor's comments were frustrating. Several times based on his comments it was obvious he didn't understand them poem. Once he even said "I feel this is a good poem." Really? His ridiculous commentary almost ruined the anthology for me. If it's not going to add insight into my deeper understanding of the poem, just don't say anything.The stars are for the poems, NOT for the editor' [...]

    14. This anthology by Czeslaw Milosz has taught me much about reading poetry. It has also provided me a list of poets’ works for future reading. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is intrigued by the ability of good poems reaching the rarefied realm of consciousness: truth, beauty, sufferings and nobility. These poems are highly distilled; they are also short, vivid and accessible. There is no T.S. Eliot, because the Milosz made “accessibility” the primary criterion for this anthology [...]

    15. The three poems I choose were: The August Afternoon The Window Black MeatI decided to choose The August Afternoon poem because my birthdays in August.I choose The Window because in books at night people always look at the window and freak.I choose Black Meat because I like eating meat for dinner.This book fits onto Three Poems or short stories from one anthology.I found all of them interesting. The August afternoon was about someone and his mother taking a walk. The Window is about a storm that [...]

    16. I've been reading this book for 10+ years now. The great thing about poetry anthologies is that you don't have to read it all at once and you can easily pick them up, get something wonderful out of them in under a minute and be better for it.Anyway, this is a marvelous collection of just what the title implies. It is divided under the following groupings: Epiphany, Nature, The Secret of a Thing, Travel, Places, The Moment, People Among People, Woman's Skin, Situations, Nonattachment and History. [...]

    17. There’s a traveler mad with grief,no doubt seeing odd things;he talks to himself, and when he lookswipes us out with his look.— Antonio MachadoPoor moth, I can’t help you,I can only turn out the light.— Ryszard Krynicki Autumn, cloud blades on the horizon.The west wind blows from ten thousand miles.[…]A single wild goose climbs into the void.— Tu Fu

    18. One of my favorite poetry collections--I first read it years ago but frequently find myself picking it up again and re-reading sections. There's a tremendous range of voices in here but what's most striking is how how relevant most of these ancient and contemporary poems from all over the world are to our lives today.

    19. Oh this book! Best anthology of poetry I have ever picked up. I will be eternally in debt to my professor. This book didn't cover Shakespeare, Milton or Frost but translations from the Chinese, Polish and authors you have never heard of before! In a wonderfully surprising way that made me read for days like a novel. Excellent. If you don't own a copy, do.

    20. A rich and varied collection by a Nobel laureate, noteworthy for an especially generous sampling of old Chinese poetry. Sometimes the editorial comments are longer than the poems, but overall a book I'm glad I experienced.

    21. A stunning collection. I was blown away by the sections on the body, and women's self image-some achingly poignant. Confession: some skimming throughout

    22. No es Milosz lo que me hace ruido. La propuesta antológica es harto interesante, pero esta edición en particular peca de reduccionista y reversionada. No creo que la apuesta editorial sea la más sensata (quizá porque sólo deja ver un poco del genio de Milosz, en lugar de trasladarlo en su totalidad al español), pero eso sí, despertó mucho mi interés por leer Un libro de cosas luminosas, completo y sin reversiones. Es buen aperitivo, y ya.

    23. I admire Czeslaw Milosz very much as a poet. This anthology of poems he chose, however, was not one of my favorites. There were not a lot of poems that really grabbed me, although I was happy to be introduced to Anna Swir, my favorite discovery in this anthology.

    24. Sitting over wordsvery late I have heard a kind of whispered sighingnot farlike a night wind in pines or like the sea in darkthe echo of everything that has everbeen spokenstill spinning its one syllable between the earth and silence.W.S Merwin

    25. A wonderful anthology that presents poetry with commentary about nature, people, situations, "the moment," "woman's skin," nonattachment, places, secrecy, and history. As someone once said, "Poetry is one of the most useful expressions of a mystic's inner experiences." Delightful! Here's one of my favorites, by Chinese poet, Shu Ting:Perhaps…For the loneliness of an authorPerhaps these thoughts of ours             will never find an audiencePerhaps the mistaken road         [...]

    26. A refreshing and diverse collection of poetic verse—pleasingly varied in length, structure, linguistic roots, country origins, religious influence, and author obscurity. This reader tends to view poetry as a meditative exercise as well as a sort of literary palette cleanser. To that end, this book was largely effective. I felt it expanded my exposure, and reaffirmed my impression that certain forms agree with me. (i.e. the cadence of many ancient Chinese poems, the impactful word choices of Wa [...]

    27. Imagine having a writer whom you respect, who also happens to be a Nobel Prize laureate, recommend a few poems. Czeslaw Milosz has done this for us. I like to think of it as a gateway book to poetry in the same way that viewing a performance of one of Shakespeare's comedies may be a better introduction than reading Julius Caesar in the tenth grade. Milosz has selected poems according to accessibility and length. To those developing a taste for poetry he has selected works that are vivid and enga [...]

    28. Perhaps…for the loneliness of an author, Shu TingPerhaps these thoughts of ours will never find an audiencePerhaps the mistaken road will end in a mistakePerhaps the lamps we light one at a time will be blown out, one at a timePerhaps the candles of our lives will gutter out without lighting a fire to warm us.Perhaps when all the tears have been shed the earth will be more fertilePerhaps when we sing praises to the sun the sun will praise us in returnPerhaps these heavy burdens will strengthen [...]

    29. I had this book assigned for a poetry workshop class. I think it is a great book for learning to write poetry. It's divided into chapters that cover different themes Nature, places, women aging, the secret of a thing, etc. You can really get a feel for what kind of topics poems typically cover. Aside from it's academic appeal, it really feels like there is something for everyone here. For example, I don't really get nature poems. Why read about it when I can just go for a walk? Now, This book ha [...]

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