Whitman and Miłosz’s America

Joanna Zach


This paper investigates the ambiguous process of Czesław Miłosz’s integration
into America (both its nature and culture) in the context of his literary commitments and
“private obligations” to American poetry. It was a long and painful process, a constant
struggle with the state of exile, feelings of homelessness and uprootedness that fi nally
showed the poet the “new identity” of the modern man, bound to recognise his unstable,
tenuous position in space and time. According to Miłosz, America was a testing ground
for all mankind, and the very core of American literature had always been the question:
“Who am I?” Thus, Miłosz’s serious involvement in American history and culture gave
him a new perspective on global civilisation; it helped him to recreate his own identity
and to strike a balance between homelessness and belonging.

Słowa kluczowe: exile, the lyrical “I” and the “I” of dithyramb, fi nding a home in homelessness

Brodski, J. 1990. “The Condition We Call ‘Exile’”. In: Literature in Exile. Ed. J. Glad. 1990. Durham, NC: Duke UP. 100–130.

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