Talk:Czesław Miłosz

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This edit says that Milosz now lives in California; this edit says that Milosz now lives in Poland. Robert Hass says California; Kraków says Poland. Which is correct? --Paul A 02:01, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)

The first edit does not imply that he lives in CA.--Jiang 04:30, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)
"In 1961 he became a Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley, where he now is a Professor Emeritus." --Paul A 08:43, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)
It makes sense for him to be returning to his homeland now that he's retired. I called his Berkeley office (+1 (510) 642-1535) and no one picked up. --Jiang 20:46, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)
So, being a Professor Emeritus at a university doesn't necessarily mean that one is actually at the university, then? The wording could do with some work. " the University of California, Berkeley, where he now is..." holds a clear implication, to my mind. --Paul A 02:31, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

Retired professors are appropriately referred to as "Professor Emeritus". We could, however, do without the fancy wording.--Jiang 02:46, 5 May 2004 (UTC)


How is his name pronounced? 01:26, 7 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Check the article now, I added both IPA key and .ogg file, hope you like it. :) Halibutt 08:43, Jan 7, 2005 (UTC)

Nobel prize[edit]

I think someone should clearly state which book he won the Nobel prize for in the first paragraph, since it isn't very clear.

It was no only one book or poem. He won it because in all of his books and poems there are a very clever, anticommunist, antifascist and humanistic viewpoint. Nobel prize for Milosz "who with uncompromising clear-sightedness voices man's exposed condition in a world of severe conflicts"--Merdys (talk) 22:17, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

I have added Milosz to the category Lithuanian Nobel Laureates. I believe that out of consistency, the category only needs to contain people born in Lithuania, rather than ethnic Lithuanians. To be specific, the only other entry in this category is a Lithuanian Jew who emigrated and won his prize as an inhabitant of another country. By this standard Milosz meets the qualifications for this category. -- (talk) 20:53, 4 April 2010 (UTC) I heard it pronounced (at the Milosz Fest at Claremont College to honor his 90th birthday)"Chess Woff Mee Woshe." At this festival Robert Hass and Edward Hirsch spoke (two among many international acclaimed poets) It was an honor to see Milosz listening as these great contemporary poets read his poems and celebrated his work. I felt fortunate to be able to attend and experience it.---- —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:50, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

In addition, his father was ethnic Lithuanian, and Milosz lived much of his childhood in rural Lithuania, and it influenced his work. His novel Issa Valley is drawn from that. He identified with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and learned Lithuanian as a child. He attended school and the university in what is again Vilnius (then called Wilno as part of Poland), so was influenced by higher education in Lithuania as well. He refused to identify only as Polish or Lithuanian, although he wrote in Polish. Parkwells (talk) 15:17, 19 August 2018 (UTC)


Czesław Miłosz graduated from Vilnius University in 1933. In 1989 he was awarded an honorary degree from Harvard University. Pray, there is a difference between the two! (I went ahead and corrected it). -- 13:47, 7 March 2006 (UTC) pl:user:Bmucha


If he founded a school of Polish poetry, what is that school called, when did it form, who is a member, etc? Hyacinth 23:10, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

"Although he did not speak Lithuanian,"[edit]

According to this article, he spoke fluent Lithuanian. heqs 08:20, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

The article is wrong. I have that on the best authority: from the horse's own mouth. logologist|Talk 08:00, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Since Mr. Ed is dead, and so is Milosz, that statement will be difficult to disprove. Dr. Dan 14:16, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Isn't that original research? heqs 03:39, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Heqs, that particular editor has a history of manipulating WP much worse than OR. Dr. Dan 03:49, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Dan, WP:NPA is one of the basic rules of wikipedia. Reading it once again might save you from trouble. //Halibutt 09:28, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the tip. When did you read it last? Dr. Dan 15:03, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Yesterday. And when did you try to abide by it for the last time? If ever? //Halibutt 17:48, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Even according to Lithuanian researchers (Mindaugas Kvietkauskas) he didn't speak Lithuanian, was only able to read Lithuanian but unable to speak, also he was using Polish language when replying to Lithuanian letters. Sources:,Litwini-praktycznie-nie-znaja-Czeslawa-Milosza,wid,13116445,wiadomosc.html — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:630:206:FFFF:0:0:3128:A (talk) 16:21, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one article was rated and this bot brought all the other ratings up to at least that level. BetacommandBot 11:07, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Vilnius having been incorporated into Poland after "Żeligowski's Mutiny[edit]

What is exactly the connection between Czesław Miłosz article and Żeligowski? Xx236 (talk) 14:52, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Oscar Milosz[edit]

The article doesn't inform about Oscar Milosz.Xx236 (talk) 14:58, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Place name[edit]

Dear Piotrus, what makes you think that Russian Empire did use Polish place names? huh?--Lokyz (talk) 23:52, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't see the relevance of your question, but it is obvious the Polish place name was used by many inhabitants, including Miłosz himself - hence it is highly relevant.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 00:27, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Could you provide some English references to it? I mean language usage and also cartographic material from the second half of the 19th century and teh first decade of the 20th.--Lokyz (talk) 00:47, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Sure. Columbia: "b. Szetejnie, Lithuania (then in Russia)"; Encarta: "Born in Szetejnie, Lithuania"; Encyclopedia of World Biography: "He was born on June 30, 1911 in Szetejnie, Lithuania then in Tsarist Russia" and so on. Many English sources use Polish spellings, which is why they should be kept on English Wikipedia.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 01:00, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Czesław Miłosz never heard about Šeteniai. He not knew Lithuanian, for him it was Szetejnie. In Russian Empire, in former lands of Poland (so were realised) were used Polish names, only transliterated to cyrillic: Kowno -> Ковно, Wilno -> Вильно, Telsze -> Тельше. Since the end of 19th century, especially after 1863 revolt slightly modified Russian endings (anyway slightly modified Polish) for easier pronouncation in Russian language started to use, -е were changed to -и, Вильно became Вильна, Тельше -> Тельши. Though such naming not affected small towns and villages, they were named in old way, in Polish, just transliterated. It's obvious you can check in maps of that time: [1] - year 1808, [2], [3] - end of 19th century. Therefore it's unhistorical use modern Lithuanian names for events prior 1918. Also traditional place names written in latin that were used by Lithuanian Poles in Russia were not changed. -- (talk) 09:38, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

No one disagrees, so I will make changes. -- (talk) 09:49, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Righteous Among the Nations[edit]

Please see related discussion at Czesław Miłosz.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 11:34, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Sontag interview[edit]

The external link in Profiles and interviews last Accessed 2010-08-04 for Sontag audio is a live URL, but the content was removed, so the link needs to be replaced.

There is ref to an interview at

Here is a link of possible interest:

Related link to the prev. is

G. Robert Shiplett 10:42, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the links. There are already quite a lot of links in the external links section. Span (talk) 11:40, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

B-class review[edit]

For WP:POLAND - failed, due to insufficient inline citations. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 05:48, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Merge of stub articles into this page[edit]

I suggest merging stub articles about Czeslaw's literary work into this article. --Tyw7  (🗣️ Talk • ✍️ Contributions) Please ping me if you had replied 14:34, 24 July 2018 (UTC)

  • Oppose in principle because this was proposed while these articles were mostly at AfD, which could have resulted in 'merge' but didn't. Please do list specifically which articles you think should be merged though, and we can discuss those. Mortee (talk) 12:52, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

Content and Organizational Changes[edit]

Hi Wikipedians – I’ve made a bunch of changes to the Czesław Miłosz page and just wanted to leave an explanation. Overall, I thought the page needed improvement in the following areas:

Organization: I created some new subject headings (e.g., Asylum in France, Honors, etc.) so that info can be more easily found.

Content: I filled in some biographical content that was missing but felt, to me, important for a casual reader wanting to know Miłosz’s story. In adding this content, I rewrote some of the existing content so that the article would read well.

Undue weight: From the original article, a casual reader looking for quick info on Miłosz probably would have come away with a skewed impression of what was important about him. For example, the second sentence in the article, in the top line summary, was about him associating with Lithuania, whereas the fact that he won the Nobel Prize came two paragraphs later. In fact, there were allusions throughout the article to the “Polish vs. Lithuanian” question, which made it seem like this was much more important than other aspects of his biography, like his books and poems. Forgive me, but I don’t think the question of Miłosz’s nationality matters so much that it warrants being mentioned more often than his books in an article about him. For that reason, I created a subheading under ‘Legacy’ and noted the issue there, rather than alluding to it repeatedly throughout the article.

Clarity and Accuracy: The article contained some incorrect info (for example, calling The Seizure of Power Miłosz’s “second book” or claiming that he only authored work in Polish, etc.), some contradictory info (for example, there was a sentence that stated Miłosz refused to identify as either Polish or Lithuanian, but in the next sentence Miłosz was quoted as saying “I am a Polish, not a Lithuanian, poet”), and some non-English citations that likely can’t be verified by most readers of English Wikipedia. There are plenty of reputable sources about Miłosz available in English—academic studies, online articles, his own books, and a comprehensive biography from Harvard University Press (which I’ve cited extensively)—so I’m not sure it’s necessary to cite a non-English source here.

Of course, if you think the article needs further improvement, or if you disagree with my reasoning, feel free to proceed as you see fit. Thanks! IbIANTiA (talk) 22:15, 10 April 2019 (UTC)

This was some really outstanding work. Really impressive. Thank you! SteamboatPhilly (talk) 12:58, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
Thanks very much! IbIANTiA (talk) 10:40, 30 April 2019 (UTC)
You have indeed put the “Polish vs. Lithuanian” question into better perspective. And you have made substantial additions to the article that will take me some time to fully absorb.
Miłosz, in what may have been somewthing of a poetic conceit, referred to himself as one of the last citizens of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Most of the historic Grand Duchy's inhabitants did not speak Lithuanian but one or another Eastern Slavic language. Further, a lingua franca of the more educated and better-off citizens of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that had long since incorporated the Grand Duchy, not just of the Poles, was a Western Slavic language, Polish. The commander of the Lithuanian Army from September 1934 to April 1940, General Stasys Raštikis, had a perfect command of Polish. Miłosz's Wilno (now Vilnius) was a thoroughly Polish city, one of a handful of the principal cities of prewar Poland. Miłosz may well have picked up a smattering of the Lithuanian language but, when I asked him directly whether he knew Lithuanian, he denied it. (This cannot be put into the article, as it has not yet been published elsewhere.) As to Lithuanians honoring the centenary of Miłosz's birth on a postage stamp, what people—including Poles—does not wish to bask in the reflected glory of a Nobel prize? To Poles, the true inventor of polio vaccine was not Jonas Salk or even the Jewish Pole Albert Sabin but (with some justice) another Jewish Pole, Hilary Koprowski.
Nihil novi (talk) 23:58, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

Delete "Polemical articles"?[edit]

The last section, "Polemical articles," is written in Polish and mostly links to articles that are in Polish. (There is a link to the English Wikipedia page for Sergiusz Piasecki, but it's not clear to me why it's there.) In my view, this section is of extremely limited usefulness on this English Wikipedia page and I propose deleting it. If I don't hear opposition after a while, I'll go ahead with deletion. Thanks! IbIANTiA (talk) 20:00, 29 April 2019 (UTC)

The first item is a defense of some maliciously or ignorantly misinterpreted passages from Miłosz.
The second, turgid item by Jacek Trznadel, with rather obscure references, is difficult to follow.
The third item, by Sergiusz Piasecki, is not linked to any text.
I would delete the "Polemical articles" section and wait for more enlightening texts about Miłosz.
Nihil novi (talk) 08:52, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks! IbIANTiA (talk) 13:34, 2 May 2019 (UTC)