Saturday, January 26, 2008

All the unliving I had loved were flying overhead

Originally uploaded by jhhymas

I entered another shelf of poetry books in Librarything today and reached the magic number of 3033. At least it seems magic. I think I am about half done. I've been putting some of the books into the storage locker, which means I might as well pass them on. But I want to enter them all first and see what I have. Working with my shelves today, I discovered some poets I had forgotten about. Miklos Radnoti is one I might mention. Here's a short sample in translation from the Hungarian:

Peace, Dread by Miklos Radnoti

I went out, closed the street door, and the clock struck ten,
on shining wheels the baker rustled by and hummed,
a plane droned in the sky, the sun shone, it struck ten,
I thought of my dead aunt and in a flash it seemed
all the unliving I had loved were flying overhead,
with hosts of silent dead the sky was darkened then
and suddenly across the wall a shadow fell.
Silence. The morning world stood still. The clock struck ten,
over the street peace floated: cold dread was its spell.

--translated by Zsuzsanna Ozsváth and Frederick Turner

The stories of his life and death are riveting.

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