I have lain down on the ﬁlthy ﬂoor,
My head leaning against the wall.
The pain… perhaps stronger
Than my poem?
I have been trying to recall the smile of my mother.
What I would like to do is pour
These poems over her soul,
This sobbing which has already lost its form.
Lord, now I own nothing else, and I will go along
With owning your face.
Because of this only I have been able to endure it all:
On bread and water.
Translated by Robert Bly