Poetic Lithuania of Miłosz
Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Polonica
Lithuania is the beginning and Lithuania is the end" -stated Czesław Miłosz in his youthful work, and he entitled one of his last poetic series Lithuania after 52 years. In spite of his repeated declarations of dislike towards autobiographism in literature, the land of his childhood accompanied the author in all of his literary output. Occasionally the fascination with Lithuania revealed itself in a diligently reconstructed genealogy of the Miłosz and Syruć houses, searching for traces of local
... for traces of local legends, indulging in even minor traces of the past, sometimes in a basic delight over the beauty of the lands praised for centuries. In the sketch La Combe, dedicated to an unusal Hucuł, the poet wrote: Vincenz knows that people miss their fatherland nowadays, but instead of it they are given only countries. Homeland is organic, grown into the past. It is always small, heart-warming, close as own body. Country is mechanical. Homerand is Wales, Brittany, Provence, Catalonia, Basque Country, Transylvania, Hucul land 1 . Hearing these words makes us look onto his poetical images of Lithuania as a symbol of inner -and not only geographical -settlement. On the one hand, it is formed by the connections of Miłosz's literary output and his literary predecessors from the so-called Lithuanian school -especially Mickiewicz, on the other hand, they can be seen from a broader perspective as an element of the spiritual adventure of a human being, a journey "to the centre, to Ithaca, meaning to the inner part of oneself" 2 .