The Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz was born 30th June 1911 (died 2004). In 1940 he escaped from Soviet-occupied Lithuania to Nazi-occupied Warsaw, neither were safe places for a creative mind to flourish or for thinkers to think. He joined the socialist resistance and was involved in clandestine publishing and reading of poetry. Life during the Second World War, (or any war for that matter) must have seemed desperate, lonely, bleak, bitter and full of pain, suffering and suppression.
Milosz has been quoted as saying “when an entire community is struck by misfortune … poetry becomes as essential as bread.”
Poetry, books and art can heal by taking us out of our world and into new ones, making anything possible through imagination and its freedom. It also unites people, they come together in solidarity, particularly in times of crisis and need; relying on words for ease or escapism.
Think of poetry as a soothing mint, something to chew and absorb; it leaves you feeling heaps better, re-energised, renewed, reinvigorated, refreshed, released!