2014. június 30., hétfő

Petri György: Interjúrészlet

Hogy mi van a hallgatásom mögött?
Na, idefigyelj! Egy.
Nekem semmiféle alkotói válságom nincs.
Az elmúlt két évben,
de ezt úgy értsed, ahogy mondom,
minden áldott nap
legalább egy verset nem írtam meg,
ha esett, ha fújt.
De volt olyan például,
amikor három verset nem írtam
egy délelőtt leforgása alatt.
Hát persze az ilyen
én úgy nevezem „rohamok”
ritkák. Másrészt maga a kérdés is naív.
Egy igazi hallgatás az nem olyan, ami mögött
valami van.
Az én hallgatásom mögött – – – Hát kérlek,
ott hallgatás van.
Ameddig a fül elhall.
De olyan ám, mint őrszobán a KUSS után,
vagy mint egy halott csecsemő agyában,
vagy mint az első
csók után, mikor még
nem illik megszólalni,
mert a szájak
még magdeburgi féltekéknek érzik magukat:
ha ezt a megfeszített bambaságot ismered,
a minden másodperccel
tűrhetetlenebb s törhetetlenebb
csendjét a kölcsönös részvétnyilvánításnak,
hogyhát megint így egymásratalált két
s önmagát illetően legalábbis
mindegyik tudja: két mi talált egymásra.
Nos, ezek persze csak metaforák.
De jobban nemigen megy ezt megmagyarázni,
s ma még egy szonettet kell
el nem kezdenem. Amolyan penzum, évfordulóra.
És ez a legnagyobb felelősség:
el nem kezdeni.
Ilyenkor még annyi támpont van – – –

Nazim Hikmet: Optimistic Man

as a child he never plucked the wings off flies
he didn't tie tin cans to cats' tails
or lock beetles in matchboxes
or stomp anthills
he grew up
and all those things were done to him
I was at his bedside when he died
he said read me a poem
about the sun and the sea
about nuclear reactors and satellites
about the greatness of humanity

2014. június 28., szombat

Kányádi Sándor: Szóváltás

Hátamra vettelek
amikor nem volt lábad
s te háládatlan
szárnyakat növesztettél

hátadra vettél
amikor nem volt lábam
s én mintsem hálálkodnom kelljen
szárnyakat növesztettem

2014. június 27., péntek

e.e. cummings: may my heart always be open to little

may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it's sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there's never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile

2014. június 26., csütörtök

Edna St. Vincent Millay: Well, I have lost you

Well, I have lost you; and I lost you fairly;
In my own way, and with my full consent.
Say what you will, kings in a tumbrel rarely
Went to their deaths more proud than this one went.
Some nights of apprehension and hot weeping
I will confess; but that's permitted me;
Day dried my eyes; I was not one for keeping
Rubbed in a cage a wing that would be free.
If I had loved you less or played you slyly
I might have held you for a summer more,
But at the cost of words I value highly,
And no such summer as the one before.
Should I outlive this anguish—and men do—
I shall have only good to say of you.

2014. június 25., szerda

Mario Benedetti: Roster

On my roster of happy things
just a few stand out for me /
sparkles in drabness
beauty in ugliness
the pulsing of rocks
and most of all most of all
your steadfast heart
that I touch with mine

(translated by Louise B. Popkin)

Mario Benedetti: Asamblea

En mi asamblea de ilusiones
sólo hay algunas que me importan /
el centelleo de lo pálido
y la hermosura de lo feo
las pulsaciones de la roca
y sobre todo sobre todo
tu corazón ese impasible
que yo enternezco con el mío

2014. június 24., kedd

Greg Watson: Now

I told you once when we were young that
we would someday meet again.
Now, the years flown past, the letters
unwritten, I am not so certain.

It is autumn. There are toothaches hidden
in this wind, there are those determined
to bring forth winter at any cost.
I am resigned to dark blonde shadows

at stoplights, lost in the roadmaps of leaves
which point in every direction at once.
But I am wearing the shirt you stitched
two separate lifetimes ago. It is old

and falling to ash, yet every button blooms
the flowers of your design. I think of this
and I am happy, to have kissed
your mouth with the force of language,

to have spoken your name at all.

2014. június 23., hétfő

Jacob Sam-La Rose: Things That Could Happen

She swoons, falls into his arms
and they live happily ever after.

She kisses him: the restaurant applauds.

There’s a pin-drop silence. She turns
the knife in her hand, slowly.

His heart bursts in his mouth before he can say the words.
It splatters the table, ruins her dress, and she never forgives

He’s interrupted by a handsome man from another table
who asks if he can cut in. She accepts, of course,
and waltzes off to an orchestra of cutlery, side-plates,
strummed napkins and warm bread. He seethes, turns bald
and tells the story to every man he meets.

She falls in love with the waiter.

She falls in love with the waitress.

She starts by saying she’s quitting the country,
that there’s nothing in London to keep her.

He loses his voice, has to write it all down.
She spills a glass of wine, the ink blurs and swims
across the page. I’m sorry she says, and he nods,
his eyes turning to crystal.

They laugh.

They have passionate sex in the single toilet.
Outside, a lengthening queue tuts and frets.
Someone presses their ear to the door.

She doesn’t believe him.

They have 3 children. Some night, she tells them
(again) how their father won her heart
over chicken gyoza and ebi katsu.
Whenever he hears this, something in him rises
like a bull-chested spinnaker.

Her mobile rings. The moment falls, like a crumb,
to the napkin in her lap. She brushes it away.

He learns a new language - says it in French or Swahili.
She’s mightily impressed, but doesn’t understand.

She chokes on a noodle. The tips of her fingers turn blue
as she fights for breath, and fails. Later, he learns to love
the bite of alcohol and numbs his tongue with ice.

She chokes on a noodle. He Heimlichs her.
She sees him in a different light,
as he dabs the sparkling sputum
from her lips.

He watches the way she eats
and thinks better of saying anything.

Before he can speak, she leans across the table,
fingers barely touching the corners of his mouth,
and says I know, already. I know.

2014. június 21., szombat

B. Radó Lili: Versek

Nekem vér és könny, izom és ideg,
nektek csupán szó: izzó vagy hideg.

Nekem egy villanás velőmön keresztül,
nektek röpke ötlet: pillátok se rezdül.

Nekem elérhetetlen vágy, mely elveszít,
tinektek könnyű sóhaj és jól esik.

Nekem vak szenvedélyek, kegyetlen várurak,
tinektek téli estén elfutó hangulat.

Ha vér, ha vágy, ha vád, ha könnyes szó, vagy nyersebb:
nekem az életem. Mindenki másnak: versek.

2014. június 20., péntek

Brigit Peegen Kelly: Near the Race Track

(for Michael)

You will remember the ice cream store, rising where you did not expect it. You were stabbing the air with your umbrella and cursing, you looked up and in one breath moved into your tongue. Joy is more than a pause. It is the day swelling like a balloon, like the hundred hot air balloons you saw by the race track: cars stalled on the highway—no police anywhere—

and all that silence rising.

Joy can be made out of cloth and heated with gas. It can ascend from our hands and halt us in our shoes. We can have too few mouths to hold it—we can be lost in the middle of the day, by the highway, in the heat.

2014. június 19., csütörtök

Robert Frost: Leaves compared with flowers

A tree's leaves may be ever so good,
So may its bark, so may its wood;
But unless you put the right thing to its root
It never will show much flower or fruit.

But I may be one who does not care
Ever to have tree bloom or bear.
Leaves for smooth and bark for rough,
Leaves and bark may be tree enough.

Some giant trees have bloom so small
They might as well have none at all.
Late in life I have come on fern.
Now lichens are due to have their turn.

I bade men tell me which in brief,
Which is fairer, flower or leaf.
They did not have the wit to say,
Leaves by night and flowers by day.

Leaves and bark, leaves and bark,
To lean against and hear in the dark.
Petals I may have once pursued.
Leaves are all my darker mood.

2014. június 18., szerda

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer: Rima IV

Ne mondjátok, hogy kimerült a kincse,
nem némult el a líra, szól azért is.
Lehet, hogy nem lesznek költők, de mindig
leszen poézis.

Amíg a fénynek csókjától kigyúlva
hullám lángja csap égig,
amíg a nap a szétrongyolt felhőket
arannyal vonja végig;

amíg a lég ölében illat árad,
s csupa derű a szél is;
amíg tavasz suhan át a világon,
leszen poézis!

Amíg nem ismerjük az élet titkát,
bár utunk afelé visz,
amíg számító észnél jóval mélyebb
a tenger és az ég is;

amíg az ember ismeretlen útján
indul a messzeségig;
amíg egyetlen rejtély lesz a földön,
leszen poézis!

Amíg a lélek nevet, és az ajkak
búba merülnek mégis;
amíg sírással nem a szemek sírnak,
mikor a lélek vérzik;

amíg egymással fej és szív vitázik
e világ végeztéig;
amíg reménység születik, és emlék,
leszen poézis!

Amíg a szem felelni tud a szemnek,
nemcsak néz, de beszél is;
amíg sóhajra sóhajjal az ajkak
egymás szavát idézik;

amíg létezik egyetlen szép asszony,
leszen poézis!

(Simor András fordítása)

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer: Rima IV

No digáis que agotado su tesoro,
de asuntos falta, enmudeció la lira;
podrá no haber poetas; pero siempre
habrá poesía.

Mientras las ondas de la luz al beso
palpiten encendidas;
mientras el sol las desgarradas nubes
de fuego y oro vista;

mientras el aire en su regazo lleve
perfumes y armonías;
mientras haya en el mundo primavera,
¡habrá poesía!

Mientras la ciencia a descubrir no alcance
las fuentes de la vida,
y en el mar o en el cielo haya un abismo
que al cálculo resista;

mientras la humanidad siempre avanzando
no sepa a do camina;
mientras haya un misterio para el hombre,
¡habrá poesía!

Mientras sintamos que se alegra el alma,
sin que los labios rían;
mientras se llore sin que el llanto acuda
a nublar la pupila;

mientras el corazón y la cabeza
batallando prosigan;
mientras haya esperanzas y recuerdos,
¡habrá poesía!

Mientras haya unos ojos que reflejen
los ojos que los miran;
mientras responda el labio suspirando
al labio que suspira;

mientras sentirse puedan en un beso
dos almas confundidas,
mientras exista una mujer hermosa,
¡habrá poesía!

2014. június 17., kedd

e. e. cummings: 9

there are so many tictoc
clocks everywhere telling people
what toctic time it is for
tictic instance five toc minutes toc
past six tic

Spring is not regulated and does
not get out of order nor do
its hands a little jerking move
over numbers slowly

we do not
wind it up it has no weights
springs wheels inside of
its slender self no indeed dear
nothing of the kind.

(So,when kiss Spring comes
we'll kiss each kiss other on kiss the kiss
lips because tic clocks toc don't make
a toctic difference
to kisskiss you and to
kiss me)

2014. június 16., hétfő

Charles Bukowski: Lifedance

the area dividing the brain and the soul
is affected in many ways by
experience –
some lose all mind and become soul:
some lose all soul and become mind:
some lose both and become:

2014. június 14., szombat

Octavio Paz: Irkafirka

Egy széndarabbal
Törött krétámmal és piros ceruzámmal
Rajzolni a neved
A szád nevét
Lábad jelét
A senki falára
A tiltott kapukra
Addig vésni a tested nevét
Amíg a késem élén kiserked a vér
És a kő felkiált
És a fal lélegezni kezd, mint a tüdő.

(Fordította: Somlyó György)

2014. június 13., péntek

William Carlos Williams: Smell!

Oh strong ridged and deeply hollowed
nose of mine! what will you not be smelling?
What tactless asses we are, you and I, boney nose,
always indiscriminate, always unashamed,
and now it is the souring flowers of the bedraggled
poplars: a festering pulp on the wet earth
beneath them. With what deep thirst
we quicken our desires
to that rank odor of a passing springtime!
Can you not be decent? Can you not reserve your ardors
for something less unlovely? What girl will care
for us, do you think, if we continue in these ways?
Must you taste everything? Must you know everything?
Must you have a part in everything?

2014. június 12., csütörtök

Steve Scafidi: Prayer for a Marriage

for Kathleen

When we are old one night and the moon
arcs over the house like an antique
China saucer and the teacup sun
follows somewhere far behind
I hope the stars deepen to a shine
so bright you could read by it
if you liked and the sadnesses
we will have known go away
for awhile—in this hour or two
before sleep—and that we kiss
standing in the kitchen not fighting
gravity so much as embodying
its sweet force, and I hope we kiss
like we do today knowing so much
good is said in this primitive tongue
from the wild first surprising ones
to the lower dizzy ten thousand
infinitely slower ones—and I hope
while we stand there in the kitchen
making tea and kissing, the whistle
of the teapot wakes the neighbors.

2014. június 11., szerda

Nicanor Parra: Canto Primo

Midway upon the journey of our life
I lost myself within a forest dark
because I'd gone on to forbidden land

just thinking about it
makes my hair stand on end
a lion a she-wolf and a panther
- miserere di me -
gazed at me like they wanted to eat me for breakfast

what luck that the great Tomás*
came along at exactly the right moment
otherwise I wouldn't be telling this story


(antitranslated by: Liz Werner)

[Tomás Lagos. Literary critic and friend of Nicanor Parra's. Here Parra is referring to the prologue to the volume Tres poetas chilenos (Three Chilean Poets), in which Lagos writes, "Hasta aquí nomás llega Neruda y después Parra". ("Neruda takes us up to this point and no further. From here on in, it's Parra.")]

Nicanor Parra: Canto Primo

En mitad del camino de la vida
me extravié en una selva tenebrosa
por internarme en tierra proibida

sólo de recordarlo
se me ponen los pelos de punta:
un león una loba y una pantera
- miserere di me -
me miraban como queriendo desayunarse conmigo

suerte que el gran Tomás*
apareció en el momento preciso
de lo contrario no estoy contando la historia


2014. június 10., kedd

Albert Goldbarth: The Sciences Sing a Lullabye

Physics says: go to sleep. Of course
you’re tired. Every atom in you
has been dancing the shimmy in silver shoes
nonstop from mitosis to now.
Quit tapping your feet. They’ll dance
inside themselves without you. Go to sleep.
Geology says: it will be all right. Slow inch
by inch America is giving itself
to the ocean. Go to sleep. Let darkness
lap at your sides. Give darkness an inch.
You aren’t alone. All of the continents used to be
one body. You aren’t alone. Go to sleep.
Astronomy says: the sun will rise tomorrow,
Zoology says: on rainbow-fish and lithe gazelle,
Psychology says: but first it has to be night, so
Biology says: the body-clocks are stopped all over town
History says: here are the blankets, layer on layer, down and down.

2014. június 9., hétfő

Sheenagh Pugh: What If This Road

What if this road, that has held no surprises
these many years, decided not to go
home after all; what if it could turn
left or right with no more ado
than a kite-tail? What if its tarry skin
were like a long, supple bolt of cloth,
that is shaken and rolled out, and takes
a new shape from the contours beneath?
And if it chose to lay itself down
in a new way; around a blind corner,
across hills you must climb without knowing
what's on the other side; who would not hanker
to be going, at all risks? Who wants to know
a story's end, or where a road will go?

2014. június 7., szombat

Simonyi Imre: Kopogtatás

Most már azt hiszem,
hogy mégiscsak a szél volt.

Vagy talán
annyira szerettem volna,  hogy legyen bár akárki,
— de ha már senki,
hát akkor legalább a szél?

Ám úgy látszik,
hogy mégiscsak a szél lehetett,
senki más
— legfeljebb a gesztenye gallya
csapódhatott az ablakhoz.

Mert ha te lettél volna,
akkor másodszor is kopogtatsz.

— Vagy pedig egyszer sem.

2014. június 6., péntek

pleasefindthis: The static on the line

Don't talk to me like you know me.
Talk to me like you love me.

pleasefindthis: The lack of postcards

I know you're not here, I can see it in your eyes when we talk. 
Where ever you are, come back soon.

Kay Ryan: Things Shouldn’t Be So Hard

A life should leave
deep tracks:
ruts where she
went out and back
to get the mail
or move the hose
around the yard;
where she used to
stand before the sink,
a worn-out place;
beneath her hand
the china knobs
rubbed down to
white pastilles;
the switch she
used to feel for
in the dark
almost erased.
Her things should
keep her marks.
The passage
of a life should show;
it should abrade.
And when life stops,
a certain space–
however small–
should be left scarred
by the grand and
damaging parade.
Things shouldn’t be so hard.

2014. június 5., csütörtök

Nazim Hikmet: Some Advice To Those Who Will Serve Time In Prison

If instead of being hanged by the neck
you're thrown inside
for not giving up hope
in the world, your country, your people,
if you do ten or fifteen years
apart from the time you have left,
you won't say,
"Better I had swung from the end of a rope
like a flag" --
You'll put your foot down and live.
It may not be a pleasure exactly,
but it's your solemn duty
to live one more day
to spite the enemy.
Part of you may live alone inside,
like a tone at the bottom of a well.
But the other part
must be so caught up
in the flurry of the world
that you shiver there inside
when outside, at forty days' distance, a leaf moves.
To wait for letters inside,
to sing sad songs,
or to lie awake all night staring at the ceiling
is sweet but dangerous.
Look at your face from shave to shave,
forget your age,
watch out for lice
and for spring nights,
and always remember
to eat every last piece of bread--
also, don't forget to laugh heartily.
And who knows,
the woman you love may stop loving you.
Don't say it's no big thing:
it's like the snapping of a green branch
to the man inside.
To think of roses and gardens inside is bad,
to think of seas and mountains is good.
Read and write without rest,
and I also advise weaving
and making mirrors.
I mean, it's not that you can't pass
ten or fifteen years inside
and more --
you can,
as long as the jewel
on the left side of your chest doesn't lose it's luster!

[Translated by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk (1993)]

2014. június 4., szerda

Mario Benedetti: Sonata for Farewell and Flute

You're going off as alone as ever
you're sure to be missed by all
our twilight embraces will miss you
and I and my body and soul

your long shadow is reluctant
to desert us / albeit
you've decided to take it with you
whatever the risk

in any case I'd never want you
to lay your dream to rest
that dream where your love of no one
was like an all-time first

you're off yet again I don't know where
and your farewell is an echo
that lingers and speaks your name
as a final gesture

you've never kept your tenderness
for later on like bread
I'm always sure to find it
tucked loosely between your breasts

you act like you've been defeated
but I find that hard to believe
you've always won the war of words
against hatred and fear

who knows what awaits you out there
in that far-off barren place
where there are no more swallows
only winter / only waste

but should you stray off course at twilight
between your mirror and the sea
please don't ever forget that I
and my soul and my body are here

(translated by Louise B. Popkin)

Mario Benedetti: Sonata para adios y flauta

Te vas tan sola como siempre
te echaremos de menos
yo y los abrazos de la tarde
yo y mi alma y mi cuerpo

tu larga sombra se resiste
a abandonarnos / pero
has decidido que se fuera
contigo a todo riesgo

de todos modos no querría
que enterraras tu sueño
aquel en que tu amor de nadie
era como un estreno

te vas de nuevo no sé a dónde
y tu adiós es un eco
que se prolonga y nos alude
como un último gesto

nunca guardaste la ternura
como pan para luego
estoy seguro de encontrarla
liviana entre tus pechos

te vas con paso de derrota
pero no me lo creo
siempre has vencido en tu querella
contra el odio y el miedo

quién sabe allá lo que te aguarda
ese allá tan desierto
que se quedó sin golondrinas
todo erial/ todo invierno

mas si una tarde te extraviaras
entre el mar y el espejo
recuerda siempre que aquí estamos
yo y mi alma y mi cuerpo

2014. június 3., kedd

Lynn Ungar: Boundaries

The universe does not
revolve around you.
The stars and planets spinning
through the ballroom of space
dance with one another
quite outside of your small life.
You cannot hold gravity
or seasons; even air and water
inevitably evade your grasp.
Why not, then, let go?

You could move through time
like a shark through water,
neither restless or ceasing,
absorbed in and absorbing
the native element.
Why pretend you can do otherwise?
The world comes in at every pore,
mixes in your blood before
breath releases you into
the world again.  Did you think
the fragile boundary of your skin
could build a wall?

Listen.  Every molecule is humming
its particular pitch.
Of course you are a symphony.
Whose tune do you think
the planets are singing
as they dance?

2014. június 2., hétfő

1002nd blog entry :-)

I had a busy weekend and forgot about the 1000th blog entry :-)
Better late than never: hats off to all the readers who are still around! That's the attitude!

Emily Dickinson: Not in Vain

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain:
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.