Andrzej Franaszek, Milosz: A Biography. Ed. and Trans. By Aleksandra and Michael Parker
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Czeslaw Milosz, then age 70, made his first visit to Poland in thirty years in June of 1981. He had accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature the previous December. Recently the recipient of the Neustradt Prize and a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship, he was, by the early 1980s, acknowledged as one of the preeminent and influential poets of his time. That June he visited a monument in Gdansk to the workers killed during clashes with the authorities a decade earlier. Lines from his poem “You Who Wronged” were inscribed at the base of the monument. During this same trip, Milsoz received an honorary doctorate from the Catholic University in Lublin and greeted around 1500 admirers at a student club. He visited leading publishing houses and saw samizdat copies of his work for the first time. During the ceremony conferring his degree, his poems were read by leading Polish actors.
A letter from Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski, written expressly for the occasion and completed not long before his...