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willow on the lakeshore

Translation of poem by Lorinc Szabo (Hungary 1935)

Brooding, under an immense sky,
as if trying to reach its own reflection
watching itself and leaning into the lake

the willow cannot comprehend
that another, upside down
apparition in the huge blue depth

some kind of ghostly being peeking and reaching out
to the sparkling world above
as if trying to get at it’s shadow.


Showers, then sunshine,
scattered puddles glisten

like deep chasm
each puddle opens a mirror

a window on the black earth
and a sky falling deep into each one

my frightened eyes are bewildered
and for a moment believe
that somewhere below another sky shines

yes, another,
that sparkles under my feet

Samoa, or how they call that island,
that may be exactly below us.

its sky has opened up towards me,
or almost that.

such incredible brightness
such beautiful diamond flood from below
such glaring light

so sudden, that I thought
I will immediately fall into it.

blinded and dizzy,

I was mistaken, but it felt good
that I played with it for some time.

I would have liked to show it
to others, but after all said nothing,
people would only laugh at me.

perhaps now, in poetry
they may believe a miracle
a reality
that the puddles

with their shiny light
in the springtime sun
punctured the earth below.

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