03. 23. 2012. 07:30

Poems

"Ernő Szép was and is an important, noble, peculiar and outstanding figure of 20th century world poetry." "It would be stupid and senseless to measure in years or decades. Very early on, Ernő Szép already had his own, so to say, zen mind and zen voice... his own koan and haiku style." (Dezső Tandori)

Ernő Szép (1884-1953)
The Shadow of the Swallow


A sparrow flew across the sky
I saw it in the running brook
As if alighting beneath water’s edge
Pale and silent was its shade.

I watched it fly across the sky
I looked off onto the lands
My heart heavy, heavy is
For I know not what life was.


1917

This blue sky scarlet could be,
On it black sun’s trajectory,
Into black clouds then proceeds.

The birds could all silent be,
The great forests lament mournfully,
The mountains could give back the scream.

Children’s cries whining heard,
All the graves could open wide,
The dead believing they could die.


The Black Landau

Now leave me to myself, my sweet accomplice
The hour has passed
My heart pale and purple
Tired smile on my face
My reveling hand fallen asleep
Oh escape from here
The black landau is coming
I don’t want them to find you here
Sadness is my jealous princess.


Good

How good to sink into the grave
To let fall both home and faith
From one’s mind worlds fall away
The surmise of resurrection fades


Raindrop

It began to rain, for the rain I lay in wait
Beneath my eye sprung a tiny drop of rain

Hardly could I feel vexed at such a tiny drop
Indeed I offer thanks to this tiny drop of rain

It rolled down my face, and then closed my eyes
Oh my dear lord so for long I have not cried


No Other Joy is Mine

No other joy is mine
Than the clouds in the sky,
No other fortune mine
Than the clouds in the sky,
No other dispatch mine
Than the clouds in the sky,
No other sowing mine
Than the clouds in the sky,
No other theatre mine
Than the clouds in the sky,
No other serenity mine
Than the clouds in the sky,
No other resolve mine
Than the clouds in the sky,
No other redress mine
Than the clouds in the sky,
No other truth is mine
Than the clouds in the sky,
No other solace mine
Than the clouds in the sky,
No other hope is mine,
Than the clouds in the sky.

Previously on HLO
Tim Wilkinson on Ernő Szép

Translated by: Ottilie Mulzet

Tags: Ernő Szép