milosz: the final days


“This longing for God — he had that quite strongly,” says Krysiewicz. He was invited to the apartment on Boguslawskiego, where the poet grilled him provocatively, for Milosz was as famous for his doubts as for his certainties. Their conversations became a fixture: two or three hours once a week, sometimes once a month. What did they discuss? “Let’s say you had an experience with a great fire once — you have a vague memory of it,” Krysiewicz recalls. “You have spent a lot of years trying to describe it, and read a lot of books describing it. What you remember is an echo of it. You search and look for someone who can testify about this fire — that it is real — who can testify beyond words, because we know that words are too weak.”

Krysiewicz speaks reluctantly, haltingly; he was Milosz’s confessor, after all, and performed last rites. “My position was to be in the shade, and remain in the shade,” he says. “He went reconciled, certainly. But there are some things I can’t tell you.” He pauses. “He was a mystic, his poetry is mystical and metaphysical.”

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