I‘m going back to 1945. I found myself in Krakow. I was going to study Art History at the Jagiellonian University, and it wasn’t accidental that what I chose to study was the history of art. It was in order to reconstruct the Human Being bit by bit. It was as if I had two different men living inside me then. One was full of admiration and respect for ‘fine’ arts – music, literature, poetry; the other was full of mistrust of all the arts. The site for this struggle inside me, between those two personae, was my poetic practice. I felt admiration, reverence, for works of art – the aesthetic experience replaced the religious experience – but at the same time I felt a growing disdain for those ‘aesthetic’ values. I felt something had ended forever – for me, for humanity – and it was something that religion or science or art hadn’t protected. As a young poet – and one who worshipPed all the great poets, living and dead, like gods – I came to understand Mickiewicz’s words, too soon: ‘It’s harder to live well through a day than to write a book’.