05. 30. 2008. 08:56

Two poems for children

by Dániel Varró and Endre Kukorelly

"There’s tales that are clever,
full of tricks and treasure,
and tales unpossible, terrorible
unbearable, horrorible..."

Dániel Varró: Stinky Peejay
 
When hillside and valley glitter with snow,
Outside the trellises sparkle with rime,
When in home and hearth he stumbles – hello! –
Plump, pot-bellied, rosy-cheeked Christmastime,
If it’s Saturday, Sunday all the more,
One makes some time for one’s tummy perforce,
Stuffs it to the brim with pastries galore,
And tells the cook to bring out the next course.
 
But if you’re lazy, or laid up with flu,
Or stung by a bumblebee so that you
Spend all your days wearing stinky p.j.s,
That’s still not enough, not by a long ways.
If the world outside should push your cold feet
Back inside, and you yourself should retreat,
Hide away under your quilt, all the same
Still Stinky Peejay beats you at your game.
 
Before all of this our Stinky Peejay
Was just a regular guy by the way.
With tie and jacket (size extra L),
Never once snoozed through the day, until when
One fateful evening crumb-cake crumbs fell
And stained his favorite jacket, since then
He’s sick of the life of glitter and glaze
And prefers to loaf at home in p.j.s.
 
He lives down, down, at the base of Splodge Hill,
An exemplary citizen of the rough.
The tub, for him, doesn’t hold any thrill,
For clothes, pajamas are more than enough.
To him neither fame, nor fortune appeal,
Though he’d not mind if they’d make him a meal,
(You’re lazy! Peejay, your Achilles heel!).
And so he lounges, content and well fed,
Till noon, digesting his breakfast in bed.
 
For shampoo, toothbrush he hasn’t a care
– who gives a hoot for appearance these days? –
What need has he of fresh breath, shiny hair?
he gets out of bed – but not his p.j.s.
He just won’t go out, and won’t just go out,
He sits home all day, all nice and smelly,
The years of his youth spent moping about,
And watching, watching, watching the telly.
 
Take off the pajamas? Shirt? Socks? What then?
A foolhardy waste, now wouldn’t you say?
You just have to put them back on again –
Thus ruminates our fragrant Peejay.
And so for now he puts off the future,
Plays some solitaire on the computer
And grows stinkier, till the next day’s upon us,
He’s stinkier still, and a tad more pajamas.
 
 
Endre Kukorelly: Therestales
 
There’s tales that are clever,
full of tricks and treasure,
and tales unpossible, terrorible
unbearable, horrorible,
too spicy and too chewy,
too greasy and too gooey,
no happy ending
overall heart-rending,
tales that I won’t even read,
tales that I don’t even need,
they leave me too depressed,
weigh too heavy on my chest,
they invent these imps and trolls,
things best left to older souls,
and stupid tales, oh quite a few,
I’m sure you know them quite well too,
and tales of fisticuffs
and cartoonshootemups,
they make me shake and shiver
like any child might quake and quiver.
 
Translated by Thomas Cooper
 
Previously on HLO
A poem by Dániel Varró
Poems by Endre Kukorelly

Tags: by Dániel Varró and Endre Kukorelly