Jan/Feb 2014 Poetry

Two Translations

by Jascha Kessler

Image courtesy of British Library Photostream

Image courtesy of British Library Photostream


by Draga Djulgerova

Translated from the Bulgarian

He galloped down straight from the skies.
He trampled the grass, unbridled,
tore up the garden with his hooves,
and tied the Moon to the fence—
the secret sign that he was here.
Oh Lord, I'd have sensed him that night
though the whole world was deaf.
I remember nothing:
he was wild as a demon,
and then wistful like an angel.
I knew from the beginning
he'd shake off the two golden apples
that startled the Moon with their glow,
if I let him—but I wouldn't.
If I hide the apples in the garden
the centaur will come every night,
galloping down straight from the skies,
tying the Moon to the fence,
and she, envious thing that she is—
let her rumor it to the winds!


A Little Old Night Poetry

by György Somlyó

Translated from the Hungarian with help from Miklós Vajda

as though the words all dropped out of the very language
and nothing was left looming in the air
but the lacy twigs of syntax

as though the ideas all dripped out of the very brain
and nothing was left dangling in the mind
but the wires of torn nerves

in just a day the foreseen yet unavoidable
little catastrophe of autumn assaulted
the trees and swept all the leaves away

slick sodden corpses litter the earth
but soon enough the sharp wintry wind will sweep it all away


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