[biography] - [quotes] - [publications]


"My favourite thought is that art is engagement immobile, motionless commitment, and real drama is (I read this later in Weil's 'exercise books') drama immobile, motionless drama. The kind of movement, action that reminds one most of the stars' changing of places. Movement and motionlessness, that is, at the same time. But why? Because with the power of quality, it must penetrate into what in reality has irreversibly and definitely happened very long ago. It's finished, it's been done, it has come about. Every great work penetrates into where it can do no more."

The desert of love

A bridge, and a hot concrete road -
the day is emptying its pockets,
laying out, one by one, all its possessions.
You are quite alone in the catatonic twilight.

A landscape like the bed of a wrinkled pit,
with glowing scars, a darkness which dazzles.
Dust thickens. I stand numb with brightness
blinded by the sun. This summer will not leave me.

Summer. And the flashing heat.
The chickens stand, like burning cherubs,
in the boarded-up, splintered cages.
I know their wings do not even tremble.

Do you still remember? First there was the wind.
And then the earth. Then the cage.
Flames, dung. And now and again
a few wing-flutters, a few empty reflexes.

And thirst. I asked for water.
Even today I hear that feverish gulping,
and helplessly, like a stone, bear
and quench the mirages.

Years are passing. And years. And hope
is like a tin-cup toppled into the straw.

(Translated by Ted Hughes)


Nails asleep under frozen sand.
Nights soaked in poster-loneliness.
You left the light on the corridor.
Today my blood is shed.


"In each poem, we find the same diamond centre: a post-apocalyptic silence, where the nail remains in the hand, and the wound cannot speak. All the light of Pilinszky's religious feeling radiates from that crystal. The only possible direction of movement is away from the nailed wound - out of the flesh, and that
he rejects." (Ted Hughes)



[biography] - [quotes] - [publications]



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