Monday, March 06, 2006

Miklós Radnóti (1909-1944)

Forced March

You're crazy. You fall down,
stand up and walk again,
your ankles and your knees move
but you start again
as if you had wings.
The ditch calls you, but it's no use
you're afraid to stay,
and if someone asks why,
maybe you turn around and say
that a woman and a sane death
a better death wait for you.
But you're crazy.
For a long time
only the burned wind spins
above the houses at home,
Walls lie on their backs,
plum trees are broken
and the angry night
is thick with fear.
Oh if I could believe
that everything valuble
is not only inside me now
that there's still home to go back to.
If only there were! And just as before bees drone peacefully
on the cool veranda,
plum preserves turn cold
and over sleepy gardens
quietly, the end of summer bathes in the
Among the leaves the fruit
swing naked
and in front of the rust-brown hedge blond Fanny waits for me,
the morning writes
slow shadows---
All this could happen
The moon is so round today!
Don't walk past me, friend.
Yell, and I'll stand up again!



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