János Pilinszky: On a Forbidden Star (Tilos csillagon)

I was born on a forbidden star,
now jogging along on the shore,
the surf of heavenly void picks me up,
plays with me then throws me off.

Why doing penance, don’t even know.
Everything’s a hissing riddle,
don’t run away finding me on shore,
on this sunken muddy shore.

Don’t be afraid either, or run from
me, instead of calming my suffering,
hold me tight with closed eyes, hold me as
bravely as you would hold a knife.

Dare to claim me to be yours, as below
the dead have the night as their own,
your shoulder to hold my weak shoulder,
I can’t carry on any longer!

I didn’t wish to come to this world,
the void had me and was my nurse,
love me darkly and brutally, as
one left behind loves his departed.

Translated by: Maria Bencsath