James Fenton: Isten, egy vers (God, A Poem)

Undok meglepetés szendvicsben,
Egy akadt rajzszög zoknidban,
A legpetyhüdtebb kézfogás, mely  
Hitted, erõs, mint egy szikla,

Súlyos hiba egy hálóingben,
Egy nagy csalódás mindenütt
Csak ez, mit kapsz a Mind’hatótól,
Csak ez, mit kapsz a föld alatt.

O, mondotta: ‘Ha jó leszel,
Látni foglak végül ígérem.
Csak tarts ki az végső kürtszóig.
Barátod vagyok, -bízz bennem.’

Ha őt idézed így válaszol:
‘Sajnálom, tintás lehettem-
Bár neved felidéz valamit.
Gondolhattad volna, nem létezem.

‘Nem léteztem Teremtéskor,
Nem léteztem Áradatkor,
S nem leszek a Megváltáskor
Juhot válogatni táptól-

‘Vagy akárhogy is mondják. Tény, hogy
A megváltás eszméje szerint
Nyers egzisztenciális műhiba vagyok
És Te meg férgek étke.

‘Undok meglepetés vagy szendvicsben.
Egy akadt rajzszög vagy zoknimban.
Petyhüdt kéznek fogása vagy, mirõl
Hittem erõs, mint a szika,

‘Súlyos hiba vagy hálóingben,
Nagy csalódás vagy mindenütt-
Csak ez vagy ‘mondja a Mind’ható,
S csak ez leszel a föld alatt.’


Fordította: Maria Bencsath


Jack Davis: Nyár vége (End of Summer)

s mentél



kis fény








Fordította (interpretálta): Maria Bencsath


Jack Davis: Végtelen világ (World Without End)

A nyár egy harmonika
szabad kézzel játszod

Felszedett dolgok
tájkerthez ajtódnál

A jó tett, mit
könnyen tehetsz.

Fordította: Maria Bencsath


Jenő Komjáthy: I Am a Pagan (Pogány vagyok)

I am a pagan. I’m not humble,  
No smell of incense around me;
Hymns, psalms and religious services
Do not dominate my spirit.  

I don’t beat my chest in repentance,

Do not regret, or say sorry,
I don't chant cheap hymns of praise to the
One who -  created monkeys.

Earthly or otherworldly power,  
Neither of them can entice me:
I want by siege to conquer heaven,
Never by pitiful begging.

I do not go to your churches
That were built by adulation,
My soul has never genuflected
In the dust before your idol.

You are servants of a lord on earth,
And you worship one in heaven;
The heart drove you into slavery,
That only believes in tyrants.

I truly love, and you just flatter,
All you do is crawl while I fly!
Deep in dust do tremble your prayers, 
Mine at the same time glides up high.

The grace of mercy rests on your face;
Your main wish is tranquility:
I was not born for veneration;
My heart is endless revolution.

I am a pagan. Spite’s in my eyes,
Scorn and anger quiver on my tongue;
Withering fire tightens my chest,
I wish the delight of combats.

The waves of the ocean of hatred
Occasionally sweep across my heart;
The violent storms’ organ plays then
A terrible music inside.

Because I detest your empty world,
That has only one name: boredom;
For me its yawning pleasure is curse,
That rotten peace away I throw.

And I detest the torpid monster,
I hate you, ugly Apathy!
Your corpse flattens the earth forever,
In the dust dies felicity.

And I hate you freak Humility,
Wicked virtue, the mask of dwarfs!
Because you gave Cowardliness feet,
I see, to be able to crawl.

And I hate all forms of Servitude,
The sin of all sins above all:
I tremble from anger when I see
An oppressor or a servant. -  

I am a pagan. In my bold eyes  
Burns the thirst of beautiful Truth.
A goddess; and when her veil flutters
Earth, heaven burst into pleasure.

At times like this the ocean of love
Causes a flood in my spirit;
The organ of creation resounds
Now with majestic energy.

The music of spheres reverberates;
Celestial manifesto,
Weeping and bellowing tumbles deep
Below the everlasting sorrow.

The world now opens up around me,
The heavenly curtain is torn,
I notice magical, large objects
Floating around in strict circles.

Not objects, honorable persons;
They are perhaps the ancient gods:
Soul is their body, body is their soul,
To my touch they’re still an illusion.

The earth also opens below me,
The dust is happy, the stone speaks,
Silence gives a sign of its presence,
And the mysterious sky brightens.

The abyss uncovers his deep soul,
His cover the Heaven takes off...
I feel like being king of a world,
I feel as if I was a god.

Nature! In your animated church
I can ignite the soul of objects:
Within your sacred walls will burst
The oppressed power all over.

The presence of god I can feel
In your sacred immense church;
My bedazzled eyes look into his,
My heart beats with his in concert.

I became part of the universe,
Anything I see is all mine;
The flames rise and dance above me:
I am on fire yet don’t burn up!

This soul here became the soul of souls,
This heart became the heart of hearts,
The human in me turned into god,
The legate of Olympus calls! 

Translated by: Maria Bencsath 


Árpád Tóth: The Lesson of the Moon (A Hold leckéje)

Look! there is a full moon now,
High up above the trees
Her blown up cheeks become round,
Teases you, causes grief.

And the worthless trickery
Dazzles and shines until
Your mind becomes again bright    
And without apathy.

A car collects you  - a blue
Carriage forged in magic -
And from the Earth it takes you,
That garage of pity.

You forget who you have been,
And  with vague dreamy smile   
You also leave years behind,
A distressing lifetime!

You glide thus in eternity,
Nearby there is nothing
But in happy airy silence
The unreality …

But then you wake up again
And with eyes wide open
You stare at the copper disk
Of the enormous Moon:

What an ugly, old clown!
Plays the happy dimwit
Before the tent of heaven
For myriad plus years.

His face is covered with paint,
But you can see beneath
Traces of deformed craters
Like pockmarks on gypsies.

Why is the resistance? Why?
Or no more important? 
No more questions from the  heart,
The one that has burned out?

From a robot - that’s his fate -
Creates magic and light,
Does not matter that inside
He’s  ice, ancient twilight.

To shine forever - dictates
Thus a secret power.
It will be revealed later:
Reward or not, is there?

… How dwarfed it seems by all this
Your dismal, little life!
And slowly you feel sorry
For the tears you had spilled.


Translated by: Maria Bencsath 


Tamás Jónás: The Price of Flight (A repülés ára)

Fear, the beautiful vixen sits down beside me and embraces me.   
She would gladly stay on my shoulder, she says, like a pair of black wings.
Her lips are heavy like pasta dough, her smoldering face is her Mars.
Like a stepladder, her legs are long, her hair is a thick weed in Fall.
What do you want in exchange, I ask. No cost for the first few seasons.  
But later on it will have a price: I must endure the smell of blood
that will freely ooze out of my wings and I will have several nights,
during that time a few blind, frail, sick girls of my dream will step out.
They will use my sculptured body with immense hunger until daylight    
but I will remember nothing, she promises me, when I wake up.
Now gliding on the strong wings I am in wild terror during the day.
I become a friend of heaven and the angels show respect to me.
But my body is fading weekly, the duvet of my face is rumpled.
The bed groans when I get into it. Every night I become crippled

Translated by: Maria Bencsath


Árpád Tóth: You Dropped the Sun (Elejtetted a napot)

I was thinking about you
In the golden afternoon
As the pink hue of the sun
Reflected through my closed eyes.

The bright light gently heated
My pallid and tired face
And I waited with eyes closed
For the customary journey,

The one when  - as a quiet boat
On a  mysterious sea -
My recliner’s off to sail,
On my fever’s flow it sways

Towards carefree, beautifully
Imaginative regions
Where some of the sorry dreams
Of my sad life made their home:

Everything that will not be,
Everything that never was -
I started the day like that,
With eyes closed, as if dead,

I was dreaming: about life.
And the sun turned towards me
As if it dropped pink embers
Onto my eyelashes

From that certain sacred light
That the eye there still perceived
On the holy Father’s breast,
And with constant thirst for it.

And it happened all at once,
Fervently, fully, suddenly
I thought about you, how far
You are, and how lost I am.

And my frightened eyes quickly
Opened: on the tip of the
Mountains where the reddening
Clouds were already grieving.

And a curious vision
With great force took hold of me.
I felt as if: your hands held
The sun up today for me.

That’s why it was so special,
More precious than any light,
And I only know it now
As the evening has arrived,

When your tired hands at last
Are ready to drop the sun,
So will also fall the songs
Softly silent in my heart.


Translated by: Maria Bencsath


Gábor Nagy (1972-): The Poem of Poet (Poéta verse)

Fool is one who keeps on writing
without joining an order,
keeps on being modest, doesn't beg
or plays a role: observes.

Will not become and artist,
not a real poet:
a scribbler, a starveling
only, it is clear

that he is useless,
parasitic bad lot.
Thence the prejudiced
coeval hidalgo.

If not ostentatious, then why?
On the tip of his pen
like some flying dust,  
another posterity hangs. 

Translated by: Maria Bencsath


Árpád Zemplényi (1865-1919): The Genius (A Zseni)

There is something divine in fasting,
Geniuses can then be - creative.
Such fasting often conveys the excuse:
Genius since he fastsfasts being a genius.

Genius since he fasts? Fasting feeds no mind.
Fasts being a genius? Punishment but why?
The wise man is quick and near to the plate.  
A  fool since he fasts; fasts being a fool.

Translated by: Maria Bencsath


Wendy Cope: Unalmasnak lenni (Being Boring 2003)

                             “Élj érdekes korban”. Kínai átok.

Ha kérdezel “Mi újság?”, nincs rá válaszom.
Hacsak az nem, hogy a kert lombos. 
Kicsit megfáztam, de már jobban vagyok.
Elégedett vagyok, ahogy mennek a dolgok.
Igen, ő ugyanaz, olyan, mint mindig,
Eszik és alszik meg horkol még mindig.
Munkámmal haladok. Ő meg az övével.  
Tudom, ez mind nagyon unalmas neked.  
Volt elég dráma viharos múltamban:
Könnyek és szenvedély - egy tanknyit elhasználtam.
Jó újság, ha nincs újság, csak tartson sokáig. 
Hálás vagyok, ha semmi különös nem történik.
Nem láttál nálam boldogabb káposztát,
Szárnyal zöldségesen víg hangulatom.
Ha izgalmat keresel, kerülj el messze.
Folytatni akarom unalmas életem.

Nem járok partikra. Hisz minek is vannak,   
Ha nem keresel új szeretőt magadnak?
Iszol és figyelsz, majd még egy kicsit iszol,
A másnap meg eltelikhogy kiheverd magad.  
Otthon lenni valakivel, ez volt minden vágyam,
És most, hogy biztos kikötőt találtam,
Csak egy célom van ebben az életben:
Továbbra is unalmasnak lenni. 

Fordította: Maria Bencsath


Gyula Juhász: Mája

I looked once again at the grey nothingness, 
The grey nothingness, father of everything,
Since then there are no proud sparkles in my eyes,
And in my heart no divine grace of hope lives!

O, you grey sea of this grey nothingness,
Where our world’s grim galley becomes dented,
O, you vitreous sky of our eyes,
Where planets that are burning are at their death!

Rigid universe and barren paradise
Go on and rock the boat of the sinking heart,
Rock the boat, the sail, the cannon and the horn:

Nowhere to stop here, too rugged is the shore,
Only the sea, salty, bitter and boring,
Only man for whom eddy is clemency!


Translated by: Maria Bencsath


Árpád Tóth: God's Broken Cello, I Keep My Silence (Isten törött csellója, hallgatok)

I am silence. Don't look for music here.
I resemble an instrument in this world
Like the one I saw, that violoncello
In the corner of a pleasing noble room.

The strings were broken. The neck was covered
By a veil of mourning, a silent crape.
Yet, it was not a sentimental object.
Dust covered it. Dust of reconciled years.

Such pain was written on it, that its silence
Itself is the saint, like that of the hermit,
Who, in the solitude oyears, - and on the
Threshold of his cell, forgot how to speak.

While in a reverie about his lost life,
No longer does he remember old sorrows:
Only as if some fine far away vapour
Sprinkled blood all over the thick nightfall,

And made it a prettier, heavenlier secret,
Nothing else matching it merely muteness.
Let the loudmouthed crowd then roar away,
God's broken cello, I keep my silence.   


Translated by: Maria Bencsath


Krisztina Tóth: Neighbourhood (Környék)

You cross a bridge and over there everybody is younger than you are:
the pedestrians, the byciclists, the trees, the statues.
It may be the time but you have not noticed it so far.
Somehow you haven't had any business in this neighbourhood.

You turn around but have a dizzy spell on the bridge.
Instead of a smooth mirror, this whirlpol of incertitude,
what to take to get home and whom you are going to find there
since you have left yourself behind a few years ago.

Translated by: Maria Bencsath


Árpád Tóth: Silent At Last (Csendes már...)

Silent, at last, is the forest,
Silent are the yellow gardens,
Wind hides amongst listless tree leaves,

Wind hides like a sad pariah,
Whistles through the dried out branches,
Cuddles near me licking my hand,

Farewell kerchief onward waving
Vagrant clouds and sullen sky,
Grief and sorrow sweeten the air,

Which is now like an aged wine
And the whole world in a shadow
Is a gloomy, giant good-bye. 


Translated by: Maria Bencsath


Árpád Tóth: The Tree (A fa)

Oh, look at that strange, tilted tree,
The way it bends across the creek,
Can you maybe not to love it,
Not to seek your partner in it?
No golden sun shines trough the old branches,
Silent are the birds, they all used to sing,
Has no more fruits, no flowers either,
Yet it stands, the wise man of sunset,
Like one who wonders on such evening,
Sinks in the secret of infinity
And gently leans with all of his body,
Wherever his soul pulls him without it... 

Translated by: Maria Bencsath


Árpád Tóth: In the Park (A parkban)

The wind is softly crying and weeping
Like small boys frightened from having gotten lost,
The moon is a slice of faded golden seam,
And having crossed already the mountain top
The pale dawn is quietly approaching.

I am wading in thin and splashy mud,
Afraid to look towards the far autumn plot,
My faded lips quietly start to cry
And I taste the sweet flavour of crushed, thick blood;
Flattering black flags enfold the tree arms.

Suddenly, I see feverish and sweet
Pictures with fading eyes, delayed desire,
I hear gentle and soft minuets while
On quiet, scuttling, silk covered feet
Life is floating away amongst sad trees…

Translated by Maria Bencsath


Árpád Tóth: Why? (Miért?)

In my window, evening graying,
I am sitting without moving,
Doing nothing, being idle,
Minutes flying, my time floating.

Watching dusty, stunted branches,
Saddened flowers, petals grieving,
Watching them in silence, coldly,
What’s their fate to me, the lonely!

My soul is bare, cold and empty
And the minutes are still racing,
Then, while watching the pale nightfall
I will have to leave my window…

With compassion Death speaks to me:
“Your heart trouble, leave it to me,
My frigid hands will caress it,
Put it to rest very gently.”

Then in terror I scream wildly:
I don’t want to become happy,
All I want is my life to live!
Why? what a foolish, sad secret!


Translated by: Maria Bencsath