Németh Zoltán

12/16 Text

Zoltán Németh: Rilke in Duino. Transl. Austin Wagner

One-by-one I set out my teeth
on the castle’s stone berm which faces
the sea, in a row, one after another,
that all at once they should devour the ocean.
A woman’s body dressed in summer
in which I search for sentences,
and with the sun’s eyes I gazed at you,
oh I loved you so.
On the seaside air clear as glass
I wrote my name, and shattered it to pieces,
but it can’t be shattered, and my name
trickles steadily off of it.
The words stacked on the berm
began to suck the sea into themselves,
they turned about in my mouth,
my organs were flooded.
I ripped needless frills from my letters,
placed there by the voice of man
over the millennia,
and bolted to its place
this monotonous deluge.
Its waves and the endeavor
to please them all.
For this I lingered and I left.

We launched this project as part of the Bázis website with the support of the Minority Culture Fund. Its aim is to translate contemporary Hungarian poetry in Slovakia into Slovak and English. We want to create a virtual anthology of contemporary Hungarian poetry in Slovakia.