Winter 1992 • Vol. XIV No. 1 Poetry |

Somebody Consoles Me with a Poem

Translated from the Hungarian by Len Roberts and Laszlo Vertes Can you hear it? Somebody's reading a poem to me over the   telephone,  he's consoling me for my dead,    for myself,     he's promising a snowfall on my forehead, snow on our common resting place:  on a bed, a forest, beyond the skeletons of yesterday's   flowers, and healing silence in a gentle cellar,    where cut plum-tree logs     will burn, blazing, there'll be wine on the table,     bread      and onion, otherworldly light gleaming from a sharp knife, and on the timeless, white cellar wall  an ant, separated from its army,   marches toward future centuries. Can you hear it? What he says, he says to you as well:  with big, black wings   don't flap into the night,    into mourning, into soot, you're not an angel, nor a condor, you're a sweet country's sole dweller,  you're mine even though you're condemned to death!   your bound ha

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.
Kenyon Review logo
Sándor Csoóri, a leading contemporary Hungarian poet, essayist, and scriptwriter, has been called "the genius of discontent" and is considered to be one of the most prominent artistic spokespersonsfor the Hungarian people during the pastfour decades. He is the author of thirteen volumes of poetry and five volumes of essays. Recipient of the Attila Józef Prize in Poetry, he also won the prestigious Kossuth Award, Hungary's greatest honor for achievement in artistic and scientific work.
Kenyon Review logo
Len Roberts's two most recent books of poetry, The Trouble-Making Finch (1998) and Counting the Black Angels (1994), were published by the University of Illinois Press. His book of translation, Selected Poems of Sándor Csoóri, was published by Copper Canyon in 1992.

Read More

Hung Over

By Sándor Csoóri, translated by Len Roberts

Translated from the Hungarian by Len Roberts and Laszlo Vertes Can you hear it? Somebody's reading a poem to me over the   telephone,  he's consoling me for my dead,    for […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.