Attila József: If you don’t grab me

If you don’t grab me to your bosom,
like your only property
while you are dreaming laughing
the thieves will take me
and then you will lie on the bed crying:
Oh! Orphaned and foolish me!

If you don’t flatter in every minute to me,
that you are happy because you live for me
you can speak to your sad shadow only
that you are tormented, afraid and lonely.
There will be no thread for your loving,
without me it’s fragmentary.

If you don’t hug, don’t devour me, I’ll be beaten
by trees, mountains, waves.
I love you with the love of children,
but I am just as a child who barely behaves:
the room where you bathe in
will be lightened by my soul, and darkened as it leaves.

Benyamin Bensalah


Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Ha nem szorítasz…”(1937).

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