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14 March 2014

Messages from W. Sh. – For the 450th Anniversary of William Shakespeare


 
English Translations by Tony Brinkley and the Author


 
SUMMER’S LEASE (18) ÖRÖKLÉT-BÉRLET
 
Eternal, örök, season’s ticket,
summer’s lease, nyár ajándéka, a
scrap of paper with its clouds, their
green-blue-browns. Életet hoz, gives
life. Lines dance, fan out, wheat-
sheaves of fire-works, a crack, an
opening inside me. Bundles of
numbed sentences
are stirring. When I take a breath,
relieved, its flare brings summer to
the paper, életet hoz, gives life. Last
night I felt that I could glance a star,
word-space would open up again
today. The sky may open once
again today. The word may find
itself. A play of clouds? A ticket
for eternity? Nyár ajándéka.
Summer’s lease. A spell.

 
 
THOUGHT KILLS ME (44) MEGÖL A GONDOLAT
 
But ah! thought kills me that I am
not thought. Megöl a gondolat,
hogy gondolat nem vagyok. Or
does not. The thought that I am not
kills me or could. But I am more
than thought. A gift. With air, my
birth sign, but so much of earth and
water wrought, földből és vízből is
vétettem,
the smell of earth turned up in
spring gives me a foretaste of an
ultimate peace – new to the world
again, I am washed through the
way lake water washes – or with
you when I am rocked
in you – washed into you and
resurrected. That, a thought, if
thought, is all of me.

 

 
SESSIONS OF SWEET SILENT THOUGHT (30, 32) ÉDES, CSENDES TŰNŐDÉS IDEJE
 
For my Father and my two brothers

 
Sessions of sweet, silent thought, édes,
csendes tűnődés. Musing, sweet, but
choking – your scorching death – my
family. As often as I watched: your
deep, musing breath, édes, csendes, in
sweet, silent thought – poisoning
from without to meet a poisoning within,
relieving the cold world, tobacco’s scorching
scirocco.
You were beautiful and happy while I froze –
I watched our secret, distant cousin, that
churl death, bunkó halál, preying as you
coughed and choked, were severed
from your bodies. And then Death-Churl,
Bugris Halál, there you
lost them. They are here and I am with them.
 
 
 
WITH THIS RAGE
E DÜHHEL (65, 28, 29)
 
Poetry must have
something in it that is
barbaric, vast and wild.
Denis Diderot, as quoted by Jerome Rothenberg
 
With this rage szépség how hold a plea
e dühhel how beauty hold a plea
how with this rage shall beauty
hogyan hold plea with this rage this
beauty how dacolhat
 
and deaf eget with my cries t
rouble and deaf heaven
jajommal trouble
a süket heaven with my cries
and the deaf sky felverem
with my cries
 
so flatter I a sötét arcú night
so hízelgek to swart-complexion’d
night with beauty flatter sötét
arcú night
szépséggel hízelgek the swart-complexiond éjnek
 
let the poem be barbaric, vast and wild
so hold a plea with swart-complexion’d
night let be the poem vast
be
vast
be
 
 
 
TO THESE WASTE BLANKS (77) E PUSZTA ÜRESSÉGRE
 
That world behind your gaze –
unknown though intimated –
different – always. And my secret:
the empty pages of my notebook.
To these waste blanks,
e puszta ürességre, I trust your overflowing
world. To their invisible buds of
quiet. Words come hindmost.
Utolsónak
jön meg a szó. Now I have said it: my love
is a black stork, strutting graciously. Now
it has happened. We have entered
evanescence: I have said it on the eighth
day of creation.
On the eighth while we look back at
being. On the poem’s day, the last
day. Words come hindmost. Legvégül
jön meg a szó.

 
 
WORDS COME HINDMOST (85) LEGVÉGÜL JÖN MEG A SZÓ
 
Words come hindmost. Legvégül jön meg a szó.
On the day of the poem, the very
last day, we look back. On the eighth
day when
we enter evanescence. Suddenly silence
hurt me. I wanted to speak. I wanted to
speak about you, and this is how the day
came, day of the word, how the day of the
poem arrived – a clumsy sentence welled at
the quiet gesture of Prospero, my master,
who wrote the book of being. Soberly he
nodded,
with one raised finger. Respect the breath, he
whispered,
a kimondott szót becsüld, the breath of
words respect that bursts to life awkwardly,
new born from
the womb of nothingness – like a new born,
mired in blood – through the gate of
the aching throat.

 
 
BEING DUMB (85) NÉMÁK MARADUNK, BÉNÁK
 
In blood – through the gate of the
aching throat – the breath of words,
szavak lehellete, tears and bursts into
the world. Very often hearing inner
voices, I only rarely feel that
I can voice them. I listen to the stir,
word- movement in its womb, a
fleeting tune,
the finest cadences, impossible to
say, beyond the mouth’s reach,
unwilling to become a breath or
breathe but lurking
in the head and in the nerves, a
muted song that never reaches
through my hand to paper. Being
dumb. Némák maradunk,
bénák. As we remain: dumb, numbed,
listening vainly to true cadences within.

 
 
THE BREATH OF WORDS (85) AZ ÉLŐ SZÓ
 
In vain we listen to true cadences
within. We cannot word them, sing
or play them on an instrument. Or
almost cannot – or at times a little.
We jot a fragment, a frail
bit escapes through mouth or hand
despite the body’s torpid hindrances
but only when our master helps,
our guardian spirit, who without, will
leave us empty-handed, thrashing, as
we snatch light-flickers, fleeting air
threads. My lover is a black stork
strutting graciously: I think my
words have named her, and she
steps aside and flies away. She
vanishes. Az élő szó, the breath
of words dissolves.



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