The Rambler :: blog

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

You poor man, you poor man 

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Here's a poem by Attila József to keep you going. Something for everyone, I think.

That's not me shouting

That's not me shouting, it's the earth that roars,
beware, beware, for Satan is raving,
better lie low deep in a clear stream,
flatten yourself into a pane of glass,
hide behind the light of diamonds,
among insects under stones,
go hide yourself inside the fresh-baked bread,
you poor man, you poor man.
With the fresh rain seep into the ground,
it's useless to plunge into yourself
when only in others' eyes can you bathe your face.
Be the edge of a small blade of grass,
you'll be greater than the world's axis.
O machines, birds, leaves and stars!
Our barren mother is praying for a child.
My friend, my dear, beloved friend,
it may be horrible or splendid, but
that's not me shouting, it's the earth that roars.

[Taken from Winter Night: Selected Poems of Attila József, trans. from the Hungarian by John Bátki (Budapest: Corvina, 1997), poem originally written 1924]

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