2013. február 28., csütörtök

Erin Belieu: From On Being Fired Again

I've known the pleasures of being
fired at least eleven times—

most notably by Larry who found my snood
unsuitable, another time by Jack,
whom I was sleeping with. Poor attitude,
tardiness, a contagious lack
of team spirit; I have been unmotivated

squirting perfume onto little cards,
while stocking salad bars, when stripping
covers from romance novels, their heroines
slaving on the chain gang of obsessive love—

and always the same hard candy
of shame dissolving in my throat;

handing in my apron, returning the cash-
register key. And yet, how fine it feels,
the perversity of freedom which never signs
a rent check or explains anything to one's family...

2013. február 27., szerda

Mario Benedetti: Slowly but surely

The future's coming slowly
but surely

right now it's hidden beyond
the surly clouds
and some still invisible
nimble heights
beyond the thunder's roar
and the spider's web

it's taking its time
like a determined flower
keeping track of the sun

perhaps that's why
daily life
prepares to greet it
settling exorbitant debts
opening new chapters in memory

but the future's
in no hurry
it's coming
finally bringing relief
bread for the hungry
battered angles
faithful swallows

but not half-hearted

neither smug
nor a spoilsport
it's simply
with its sharpened blade
and weighing scales
inquiring first
about our dreams
then our homelands
our latent memories
and our newborns

the future's coming
with its mondays and marches
its clenched fists and dark-ringed eyes and prjoects
slowly but swiftly
like a dim
still unnamed star

convalescent and slow
so very modest
that well-versed future we're shaping
and chance
but more and more we
less and less chance.

(translation by Louise B. Popkin)

Mario Benedetti: Lento pero viene

lento pero viene
el futuro
pero viene

ahora está más allá
de las nubes ramplonas
y de unas cimas ágiles
que aún no se distinguen
y mas allá del trueno
y de la araña

demorándose viene
como una flor porfiada
que vigilara al sol

a lo mejor por eso
la vida cotidiana
prepara bienvenidas
cierra saldos de usura
abre memorias virgenes

pero él
no tiene prisa
por fin con su respuesta
su pan para la hambruna
sus magullados ángeles
sus fieles golondrinas

pero no lánguido
ni ufano
ni aguafiestas
con su afilada hoja
y su balanza
preguntando ante todo
por los sueños
y luego por las patrias
los recuerdos yacentes
y los recién nacidos

viene el futuro
con sus lunes y marzos
con sus puños y ojeras y propuestas
lento y no obstante raudo
como estrella pobre
sin nombre todavía

convaleciente y lento
ese experto futuro que nos inventamos
y el azar
cada vez más nosotro
y menos el azar.

2013. február 26., kedd

William Butler Yeats: Her Anxiety

Earth in beauty dressed
Awaits returning spring.
All true love must die,
Alter at the best
Into some lesser thing
Prove that I lie.

Such body lovers have,
Such exacting breath,
That they touch or sigh.
Every touch they give,
Love is nearer death.
Prove that I lie. 

2013. február 25., hétfő

William Langland: The Vision of Piers Plowman

`After sharp showers,` said Peace, `the sun shines brightest;
No weather is warmer than after watery clouds;
Nor any love dearer, or more loving friends;
Than after war and woe, when Love and Peace are masters.
There was never war in this world, or wickedness so keen,
That Love, if he liked, could not turn to laughter,
And Peace, through patience, put an end to all perils.`

2013. február 23., szombat

Finy Petra: taníts meg a komolytalanságra

szeretném tudni, hogyan kell
szabályosan fújni lufit rágóból,
és a láblóbálás pontos mikéntje is érdekel,
izgat a bandzsítás tudománya is,
és a szürcsölés fortélyait sem ismerem,
ezenkívül jó lenne tudományos
precizitással visítozni,
avarban hemperegni,
úgy, ahogy a nagykönyvben meg van írva,
vagy papírzacskót durrantani felsőfokon.

2013. február 22., péntek

Eduardo Galeano: Celebration of the Marriage of Heart and Mind

Why does one write, if not to put one’s pieces together? From the moment we enter school or church, education chops us into pieces: it teaches us to divorce soul from body and mind from heart. The fishermen of the Colombian coast must be learned doctors of ethics and morality, for they invented the word sentipensante, feeling-thinking, to define language that speaks the truth.

Peter Porter: Instant Fish

Instant Fish
by Phidias!
Add water
and they swim

2013. február 21., csütörtök

Nicanor Parra: Cartas del poeta que duerme en una silla


Escriban lo que quieran
En el estilo que les parezca mejor
Ha pasado demasiada sangre bajo los puentes
Para seguir creyendo -creo yo
Que sólo se puede seguir un camino:
En poesía se permite todo.

Nicanor Parra: Young Poets

 Write as you will
 In whatever style you like
 Too much blood has run under the bridge
 To go on believing
 That only one road is right.

 In poetry everything is permitted.

 With only this condition of course,
 You have to improve the blank page.

Nicanor Parra: Ifjú költők

Írjatok, ahogy tetszik,
amelyik stílus fekszik,
Túl véres ez a folyó,
hogy tovább hirdessük:
csak egy út járható.

A költészetben minden megengedett.

Egy feltétellel, persze:
az üres lapnál azért különbnek kell lenni.

2013. február 20., szerda

Gioconda Belli: The man who loves me

The man who loves me should know how to part curtains
of flesh
Fathom my eye's depths
And know that in me nestles
A tender, transparent swallow.

The man who loves me
Will not covet me like a commodity
Nor exhibit me like a sportsman's trophy
He will stand by me
Loving me just as I love and stand by him.

The man who loves me
Will be strong as the ceibo trees
Solid and sheltering as they are,
Clear as a December morning.

The man who loves me
Will not distrust my smile
Nor fear my hair's profusion.
He will respect sorrow, silence.
And with caresses, he will play upon my stomach,
As on a guitar, making pleasure issue from
my body's recesses.

The man who loves me
Will discover I can be
A hammock on which to rest his burdens and cares.
A friend with whom to share intimate secrets.
A lake on which to float,
Without fear that the anchor of his commitment
Will prevent flight
Should it occur to him to be a bird.

The man who loves me
Will make poetry of his life
Structuring each day
With his gaze set on the future

But above all else
The man who loves me must love people
Not as some abstract category
Mentioned carelessly
But as something real, concrete
To whom one show devotion through actions
Giving up one's life if required.

The man who loves me
Will recognize my face in the midst of a battle
And with knee bent to the earth,
he will love me
As the two of us fire together at the enemy.

My man in love
Will not fear giving himself
Nor fear finding himself magically smitten.
In a plaza filled with great crowds,
He will be able to shout "I Love You"
Or make extravagant announcements on top of buildings
Proclaiming his right to feel
The most beautiful and human emotion.

My man in love
Will not flee kitchens
Nor the diapers of our child
His love will be like a refreshing breeze
Carrying away among mists of dream and the past
Weakness that, for centuries kept us divided,
As beings of different worth.

My man in love
Will not want to stereotype and standardize me
He will give me air, space
Nourishment to grow and improve
Which makes each new day
The beginning of a NEW VICTORY.

Gioconda Belli: Reglas de juego para los hombres que quieran amar a mujeres


El hombre que me ame
deberá saber descorrer las cortinas de la piel,
encontrar la profundidad de mis ojos
y conocer lo que anida en mí,
la golondrina transparente de la ternura.


El hombre que me ame
no querrá poseerme como una mercancía,
ni exhibirme como un trofeo de caza,
sabrá estar a mi lado
con el mismo amor
con que yo estaré al lado suyo.


El amor del hombre que me ame
será fuerte como los arboles de ceibo,
protector y seguro como ellos,
limpio como una mañana de diciembre.


El hombre que me ame
no dudará de mi sonrisa
ni temerá la abundancia de mi pelo,
respetará la tristeza, el silencio
y con caricias tocará mi vientre como guitarra
para que brote música y alegría
desde el fondo de mi cuerpo


El hombre que me ame
podrá encontrar en mí
la hamaca donde descansar
el pesado fardo de sus preocupaciones,
la amiga con quien compartir sus íntimos secretos,
el lago donde flotar
sin miedo de que el ancla del compromiso
le impida volar cuando se le ocurra ser pájaro.


El hombre que me ame
hará poesia con su vida,
construyendo cada día
con la mirada puesta en el futuro.


Por sobre todas las cosas,
el hombre que me ame
deberá amar al pueblo
no como una abstracta palabra
sacada de la manga,
sino como algo real, concreto,
ante quien rendir homenaje con acciones
y dar la vida si es necesario.


El hombre que me ame
reconocerá mi rostro en la trinchera
rodilla en tierra me amará
mientras los dos disparamos juntos
contra el enemigo.


El amor de mi hombre
no conocerá el miedo a la entrega,
ni temerá descubrirse ante la magia del enamoramiento
en una plaza llena de multitudes.
Podrá gritar -te quiero-
o hacer rótulos en lo alto de los edificios
proclamando su derecho a sentir
el más hermoso y humano de los sentimientos.


El amor de mi hombre
no le huirá a las cocinas,
ni a los pañales del hijo,
será como un viento fresco
llevándose entre nubes de sueño y de pasado,
las debilidades que, por siglos, nos mantuvieron separados
como seres de distinta estatura.


El amor de mi hombre
no querrá rotularme y etiquetarme,
me dará aire, espacio,
alimento para crecer y ser mejor,
como una Revolución
que hace de cada día
el comienzo de una nueva victoria.

2013. február 19., kedd

Charles Bukowski: the suicide kid

I went to the worst of bars
hoping to get
but all I could do was to
get drunk
worse, the bar patrons even
ended up
liking me.
there I was trying to get
pushed over the dark
and I ended up with
free drinks
while somewhere else
some poor
son-of-a-bitch was in a hospital
tubes sticking out  all over
as he fought like hell
to live.
nobody would help me
die as
the drinks kept
as the next day
waited for me
with its steel clamps,
its stinking
its incogitant
death doesn't always
come running
when you call
not even if you
call it
from a shining
or from an ocean liner
or from the best bar
on earth (or the
such impertinence
only makes the gods
hesitate and
ask me: I'm

2013. február 18., hétfő

Philip Booth: How to See Deer

Forget roadside crossings.
Go nowhere with guns.
Go elsewhere your own way,

lonely and wanting. Or
stay and be early:
next to deep woods

inhabit old orchards.
All clearings promise.
Sunrise is good,

and fog before sun.
Expect nothing always;
find your luck slowly.

Wait out the windfall.
Take your good time
to learn to read ferns;

make like a turtle:
downhill toward slow water.
Instructed by heron,

drink the pure silence.
Be compassed by wind.
If you quiver like aspen

trust your quick nature:
let your ear teach you
which way to listen.

You've come to assume
protective color; now
colors reform to

new shapes in your eye.
You've learned by now
to wait without waiting;

as if it were dusk
look into light falling:
in deep relief

things even out. Be
careless of nothing. See
what you see.

2013. február 16., szombat

Finy Petra: az olyanok, mint ő

az olyanok, mint ő
beszéd helyett mutogatnak,
az olyanok, mint ő
szeretik, ha morzsa maradt a szájukon,
az olyanok, mint ő
a tökéletes szimmetriát utálják,
az olyanok, mint ő
temetéseken táncolnak,

az olyanok, mint ő
világosban gyertyákat gyújtanak,
az olyanoknak, mint ő
a kockás papír börtön,
az olyanok, mint ő
a tüsszentést imádják,
az olyanok, mint ő
cigarettafüsttel rajzolnak,
az olyanok, mint ő
üveggolyót néznek tévé helyett,
az olyanok, mint ő
nagyon hiányoznak nekem.

2013. február 15., péntek

Marty McConnell: Survival Poem #17

Because this is what you do. get up.
blame the liquor for the heaviness. call in late
to work. go to the couch because the bed
is too empty. watch people scream about love
on Jerry Springer. count the ways
it could be worse. it could be last week
when the missing got so big
you wrote him a letter
and sent it. it could be yesterday, no work
to go to, whole day looming.
it could be last month
or the month before, when you still
thought maybe. still carried plans
around with you like talismans.
you could have kissed him last night.
could have gone home with him, given in,
cried after, softly, face to the wall, his heavy arm
around you, hand on your stomach, rubbing.
shower. remember your body. water
hotter than you can stand. sit
on the shower floor. the word
devastated ringing the tub. buildings
collapsed into themselves. ribs
caving toward the spine. recite
the strongest poem you know. a spell
against the lonely that gets you
in crowds and on three hours’ sleep.
wonder where the gods are now.
get up. because death is not
an alternative. because this is what you do.
air like soup, move. door, hallway, room.
pants, socks, shoes. sweater. coat. cold.
wish you were a bird. remember you
are not you, now. you are you
a year from now. how does that
woman walk? she is not sick or sad.
doesn’t even remember today.
has been to Europe. what song
is she humming? now. right now.
that’s it.

2013. február 14., csütörtök

John Akpata: What Do You Know About Love

she looked at me
she looked into me
she put a pause button on the entire universe and she looked right through me
what do you know about love
what do i know about love
i closed my eyes i turned my face away
what do i know about love
what could i possibly say
didn’t you and i just finish making love
didn’t you and i naturally unify our bodies together beautifully
with skin slapping together like a symphony
out of a desire that has existed for years mutually
flirtations have existed opportunistically like
i’m sitting on a bench in a park writing a poem
you are sitting on a blanket reading a book under a tree
you catch me shooting glances at you
and i catch you shooting glances at me
and you catch me shooting smiles at you
and i catch you shooting smiles at me
our eyes meet
you smile i smile
i stand to approach
you gather your things and you quickly walk away
the very next day
i’m chilling in the club with my homies
you come up to me you stand in my space
you look in my eyes you smile at my face you say nothing
and then you quickly walk away
do you have any idea how much i fell in love with you
every single one of those moments
on every single one of those days
and you are asking me this most dangerous question in my bed of all places where you lay
glowing and glistening like a goddess displayed
what do i know about love
well obviously not enough
not nearly enough not nearly enough
in other parts of the world
there are different modes for love
different concepts for love
different constructs for love
different notions for love
and even though the french and italian languages are known as romance languages
in arabic
there are over 100 different words for love
over 100 different words for love
so what do i really know about love
not enough
not nearly enough not nearly enough
the youraba the ibo the myan the anka the cherokee the arawak the blackfoot the hindu
all of those people who memorized their tribal lore
they had thousands of words for love
thousands of words for love
thousands upon thousands upon thousands of words for love
so what do i really know about love
not enough
not nearly enough not nearly enough
in other parts of the world whether it is
north america south america the european or asian or african nations
a little boy
a little boy
he will rise with the sun
he will pick up a gun
he will go out into the world and do what has to be done
so he can make money
so he can buy food
to feed his family because
he loves them
and he has no other options
so what am i supposed to say to him
i get down on my hands and knees and meditate and pray for them
i hope that god and love can come and rescue them
but i’ve never done what he’s done
i never carried no gun
not for love not for money not for any one
so what do i really really really know about love
she looked at me
she looked into me
she put a pause button on the entire universe and she looked right through me
what do you know
about love

2013. február 13., szerda

Wallace Stevens: Hat fontos táj (VI)

Kockafejűek szabvány kalapban,
szabvány szobákban ücsörögnek,
merednek padlóra, plafonra
derékszögű háromszögeik
börtönébe zárva.
Próbálkoznának romboidokkal,
kúpokkal, ívekkel, ellipszisekkel –
mint amilyen a félhold ellipszise –,
kockafejükön sombrero figyelne.

Manuel Altolaguirre: Te quiero

Un lago en una isla
eso es tu amor por mí,
y mi amor te rodea
como un inmenso mar
de silencios azules;
pero tienen también
tus grandezas ocultas.
Soy un niño de sal
sobre tu falda;
me sostienen tus prados
eres frondosa cumbre,
eminencia visible
de tu tierra profunda.
Me enriquecen los ríos,
y tu amor, ese lago
corazón de la isla,
es la fuente de todas
las líquidas comarcas.
Te haces querer. Te quiero.
Mira mis blancas olas.

2013. február 12., kedd

Bhaskaracharya: Mathematical Problem

 Whilst making love a necklace broke.
 A row of pearls mislaid.
 One sixth fell to the floor.
 One fifth upon the bed.
 The young woman saved one third of them.
 One tenth were caught by her lover.
 If six pearls remained upon the string
 How many pearls were there altogether?

2013. február 11., hétfő

William Butler Yeats: A Drinking Song

 Wine comes in at the mouth
 And love comes in at the eye;
 That's all we shall know for truth
 Before we grow old and die.
 I lift the glass to my mouth,
 I look at you, and I sigh.

2013. február 9., szombat

Finy Petra: megkérdezted, miért szippantok bőrödbe

bemutatkozás helyett mondjuk szerintem
a másikat megszagolni kéne inkább,
mert a bennünk pislogó vadállatnak
bizony remek szimata van.

2013. február 8., péntek

Jeremy Reed: Broken Hearts

 There should be heart-shaped rooms in which we sit
 as a collective to repair
 the damage done by love, and half the night
 we'd exchange stories, share a common pain
 that's always different, but never less
 in how the ruin's total, like a house
 slipped off a cliff edge to the sea
 or like a turtle that has lost its shell
 but keeps on going, making tracks on sand
 to find a refuge up beyond the surf.
 We're all suddenly disinherited
 from little ways, familiar dialogue,
 security of someone there to share
 bad news, rejection, a red letter day,
 a downmood's tumble of blue dice,
 or someone there to celebrate a quiet
 in which the meaning is in being two
 without a need to speak. But out of love
 we seem to be falling down stairs
 that never terminate. He left or she
 took off with someone else, it's like the blow
 will never stop arriving in the heart
 as an impacted fist. We'd call the place
 Heartbreak Hotel, and hope to patch the scars
 of unrequited love and leave
 a little less in tatters, disrepair.
 I'll find the place one day, and book a room
 and talk amongst the losers of a face
 I can't forget, and of a special hurt
 bleeding like footprints scattered over snow.

2013. február 7., csütörtök

Conrad Aiken: Improvisations: Light And Snow: 05

When I was a boy, and saw bright rows of icicles
In many lengths along a wall
I was disappointed to find
That I could not play music upon them:
I ran my hand lightly across them
And they fell, tinkling.
I tell you this, young man, so that your expectations of life
Will not be too great.

2013. február 6., szerda

Wislawa Szymborska: Szókincs

„La Pologne? La Pologne? Ott rettentő hideg van, nem?” – kérdezte a hölgy megkönnyebbülten sóhajtva. Annyi ország tűnt fel a térképen újabban, a legbiztosabb tán az éghajlatról beszélni.

„Asszonyom” – válaszolnám szívem szerint – „népem költői kesztyűben alkotnak. Nem állítom persze, hogy örökké viselik; leveszik, ha kellően melegen süt a hold. Rozmárpásztoraink egyszerű életét rekedten rivalló strófákban dicsőítik – csak ez fojtja el a szélviharok állandó robaját. Klasszicistáink tintába mártott jégcsapokkal vésik ódáikat a letaposott hótorlaszokba. A többiek, a Dekadensek könnyek helyett hópelyhekkel siratják sorsukat. A vízbefúlásra vágyónak fejszével kell áttörnie a jégpáncélt. Asszonyom, drága asszonyom.”

Ezt szeretném mondani. De elfelejtettem, hogy van a rozmár franciául. És a jégcsapban meg a fejszében sem vagyok teljesen biztos.

„La Pologne? La Pologne? Ott rettentő hideg van, nem?”
„Pas du tout” – válaszolom jegesen.

Odette Alonso: Transparencia

 A Teresa. A Darsi

Yo nunca fui la luz
yo sólo era la lámpara que su mano encendía
o el fuego primigenio que ella me descubrió.
Toda anticipación era ilusoria
yo broté de su mano como una planta nueva
me inflamé en esa llama torpe viento.
Yo nunca fui la luz
y nunca volverá a ser lo que era
polvo que se dispersa y me vacía.
Veo llegar la muerte como un sueño
y el sueño es esa franja transparente
donde todo es mentira.

2013. február 5., kedd

David Ignatow (untitled)

I should be content
to look at a mountain
for what it is
and not as a comment
on my life.

2013. február 4., hétfő

Fleur Adcock: For Heidi With Blue Hair

When you dyed your hair blue
(or, at least ultramarine
for the clipped sides, with a crest
of jet-black spikes on top)
you were sent home from school

because, as the headmistress put it,
although dyed hair was not
specifically forbidden, yours
was, apart from anything else,
not done in the school colours.

Tears in the kitchen, telephone-calls
to school from your freedom-loving father:
'She's not a punk in her behaviour;
it's just a style.' (You wiped your eyes,
also not in a school colour.)

'She discussed it with me first -
we checked the rules.' 'And anyway, Dad,
it cost twenty-five dollars.
Tell them it won't wash out -
not even if I wanted to try.

It would have been unfair to mention
your mother's death, but that
shimmered behind the arguments.
The school had nothing else against you;
the teachers twittered and gave in.

Next day your black friend had hers done
in grey, white and flaxen yellow -
the school colours precisely:
an act of solidarity, a witty
tease. The battle was already won.

Fleur Adcock: A Heidi Coi Capelli Blu

Quando ti sei tinta i capelli di blu
(o meglio, oltremare
sui lati rasati, con una cresta
di spuntoni neri in cima)
ti hanno mandato a casa da scuola

perchè, per come l'ha messa la preside,
anche se i capelli tinti non sono
esplicitamente vietati, i tuoi
non erano, comunque,
nei colori della scuola.

Lacrime in cucina,
tuo padre il liberale che telefona a scuola:
"Non è punk dentro, è solo una moda".
(Tu ti sei asciugata gli occhi,
anche quelli non hanno i colori della scuola).

"Prima ne hai parlato con me ...
abbiamo controllato le regole". "E comunque,
è costato venticinque dollari.
Digli che non viene via
nemmeno se volessi provarci".

Sarebbe stato scorretto ricordare
la morte di tua madre, ma la cosa
balenò dietro le discussioni.
La scuola non aveva nient'altro contro di te;
gli insegnanti ciarlarono e si arresero.

Il giorno dopo la tua amica nera si era
tinta i suoi
di grigio, bianco e giallo pallido
esattamente i colori della scuola:
un atto di solidarietà, una sapiente
presa in giro. La battaglia era già vinta.

2013. február 2., szombat

Finy Petra: bemutatkozom

kezeim, nézd meg, s ereim,
pedig fel sem vagyok boncolva,
nézd meg, milyen halkan fújok orrot,
senki nem tudja utánam csinálni,
nézd meg, hogyan futok,
oldalra csapom a lábam mindig,
és kávéscsészém zaccrajzát,
az ágyam feletti kép helyét,
nézd meg k-betűm, nincsen hurka,
nézd meg a szemöldököm,
amikor felszökik az idegességtől,
és nézd meg azt a parkettát, 
melyre soha nem lépek rá, 
végül nézd meg, hogyan gurítok 
üveggolyót sötétben.

2013. február 1., péntek

Ella Wheeler Wilcox: Which are you?

There are two kinds of people on earth to-day;
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.
Not the sinner and saint, for it's well understood,
The good are half bad, and the bad are half good.
Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a man's wealth,
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.
Not the humble and proud, for in life's little span,
Who puts on vain airs, is not counted a man.
Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.
No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean,
Are the people who lift, and the people who lean.
Wherever you go, you will find the earth's masses,
Are always divided in just these two classes.
And oddly enough, you will find too, I ween,
There's only one lifter to twenty who lean.
In which class are you? Are you easing the load,
Of overtaxed lifters, who toil down the road?
Or are you a leaner, who lets others share
Your portion of labor, and worry and care?