All Hallow’s Eve

In the great silence of my favourite month,

October (the red of maples, the bronze of oaks,

A clear-yellow leaf here and there on birches),

I celebrated the standstill of time.

 

The vast country of the dead had its beginning everywhere:

At the turn of the tree-lined alley, cross park lawns.

But I did not have to enter, I was not called yet.

 

Motorboats pull up on the river bank, paths in pine needles.

It was getting dark early, no lights on the other side.

 

I was going to attend the ball of ghosts and witches.

A delegation would appear there in masks and wigs,

And dance, unrecognized, in the chorus of the living.

 

Czezlow Milosz

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