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Barbarian Prayer

Wrinkled, unrelaxing stone,
rock of mother-daylight, take
me back into your womb.
Being born was the first error;
the world was what I wanted to be:
lion and tree-root in one,
loving animal and laughing snow,
consciousness of the wind, of heights
pouring their dark ink-blot down -
and here I am cloud-foundered man,
king of solitary way,
being of a cindery star,
and what I join within myself
splits me at once, because it goes
quickly and only sharpens yearning...
Wrinkled, unrelaxing stone,
rock of mother-daylight, I
stand at the entrance to your womb.

(Translated by Edwin Morgan)


I believed then

There was nothing I ever wanted more
than that village-outskirts green evening again
- I on my belly in the May grass with you
dress slightly drawn up over your thighs,
and may-beetles flying over us unsuspectingly,
death-doomed guests of the universe;
and I believed then that the world
would take me back again,
earth, trees, illusions surviving the winter,
that the world, tired of its losses, would take me back.

(Translated by Kenneth Mc Robbie and Mária Kőrösy)


"Without sacrificing his poetry to propaganda, he has been able, by absorbing the social and political turmoil of his period into himself, to digest these turmoils and re-create them on a personal, artistic level which is completely authentic. His are the masterful words of a man who was there, the words of a daring witness."
(Len Roberts)



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