The Wind Has Entered My Room

A szél jött be szobámba

The wind has entered my room, and it talks to me.
From the wind the answer comes into my labyrinth,
the rustle of the leaves? The poet of old?
To whom the wind talked once, and now he speaks

To me, that I may pass his sentence on?
Wherefore do I live, my besieged life, where is it heading,
this is what I was contemplating
at the twilit hour. Whom or what does my self

Serve, this stubborn world-devouring machine? How
should I explain when my daughter or son asks
why they must live, why I must live? The wind spoke:

“For all this here, to be a party to it.” Like this it sounded,
somehow like this. Is that enough? I pleaded. “Enough.”
In my dream I hear the wind stirring and mumbling.


Translated by Thomas Cooper and the author

Messages from W. Sh.—Improvisations

on Shakespeare’s Sonnets

English versions by Tony Brinkley and the author

18. Summer’s Lease


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.

10. Make Thee Another Self

Másik Ént

Make thee another self – másik ént, a second
fire. To murd’rous hate enslaved, solitary
in your Hell, in life-in-death, an animated
corpse – gyilkos gyûlölet, murd’rous hate
is strangling you. You fantasized superiorities,
your right to judge life from a height, you
who denied a dying friend, you and the rest
with your conceits – ruminating cattle – while
the priest prays for the dead – a woman you may
have loved. Ruinate, rombolni, urinate, vizelni,
on the roof above the room where you received
a second chance. Fallible transience. Make
thee another self – a second spark, stranger
in waiting, másik ént – while you may.

44. Thought Kills Me

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, földbôl és vízbôl is vétettem,
that 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.

57. The World-Without-End Hour

A világ-végtelen órát

Nor dare I chide – a világ-végtelen órát
the world-without-end hour. I do not blame
an hour. Waiting is a world. Gazing at
the pattern of worn fringes – hole
in the carpet near the leg of a sofa –
once again I see – a cat sharpens
its claws there, a favourite spot, starting
now and then the way a memory claws
the shins of my precursor – shattered
mirrors of a child’s gaze, new world-
patterns, textured by painfulness,
a világ-végtelen órát, this world-without-end
hour – exiled – as from absence, on
a void, I weave the pattern from a chasm

65, 28, 29. With This Rage

E dühhel

“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 trouble
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-complexion’d 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

72. Niggard Truth

Fukar igazság

No shame nor guilt, my love, to love
this verse – things nothing worth,
its worthlessness – haszontalan dolgokat
and not to be afraid of faults, defying niggard
truth – fukar igazság – the miser-world’s
realities. Sparks gleam in me – and I love every-
thing – though in this season of Pharisees. Why
must they bury my poem with my corpse?
Resurrect the words, nursed alive again.
The world is cold and blind. Dazzle
this tarnished country with a smile. Devise the loving
stories colourfully about me. Tell virtuous lies.
When truth is niggard, love things nothing worth.
Te dicsérj csak erénnyel. Fukar az igazság.

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