Cloudy Landscapes

When I gaze at the clouds and sketch their ethereal forms, the verses of Czesław Miłosz’s renowned poem “Clouds” resound within me. As a Polish poet and Nobel laureate in 1980, Miłosz captured the essence of cloud-watching, leaving no room for further expression (in my opinion). Allow me to present both my interpretation and the original Polish text.

In the presence of these celestial wonders, Miłosz’s words encapsulate the myriad emotions that arise. As I attempt to capture their essence through my drawings, I strive to convey the same depth and beauty that the poet so eloquently expressed.

 

Clouds, oh clouds, how you torment my soul,
The heart pounds with sorrow and earthly woes,
White and silent, you float in the sky,
At dawn, I gaze upon you with tear-filled eyes.

Within me, pride, lust, and cruelty reside,
The seeds of contempt and a dead sleep confide,
My lies, like beautiful paints, conceal the truth,
But deep down, I sense the whirlwind’s ruthless pursuit.

Oh, guardians of the world, you clouds so grand,
How terrible and mighty you stand!
Grant me respite, let me drift into slumber,
May the merciful night’s embrace bring me comfort and wonder.

 

Obłoki, straszne moje obłoki,
jak bije serce, jaki żal i smutek ziemi,
chmury, obłoki białe i milczące,
patrzę na was o świcie oczami łez pełnemi
i wiem, że we mnie pycha, pożądanie
i okrucieństwo, i ziarno pogardy
dla snu martwego splatają posłanie,
a kłamstwa mego najpiękniejsze farby
zakryły prawdę. Wtedy spuszczam oczy
i czuję wicher, co przeze mnie wieje,
palący, suchy. O, jakże wy straszne
jesteście, stróże świata, obłoki! Niech zasnę,
niech litościwa ogarnie mnie noc.

 

Drawings, pen ink, 30 x 40 cm, year of creation 2019