Attila József: HOPELESSLY

Slowly, pondering

Man is finally reaching to a sandy,
sad, watery plane,
he looks around thoughtfully, and cleverly
he nods, he doesn’t hope.

This is also how I try without cheating
looking around easily.
Silver slash of an axe revealing
is playing on the tree’s leaf.

My heart is sitting on the branch of nothingness,
its little body is soundlessly shivering,
it’s surrounded with meekness
by the gazing, gazing stars.

In iron-colored sky …

It rotates in an iron-colored sky
the lacquered, cool dynamo.
Oh, noiseless stars in the sky!
The words sparkle between my teeth – –

In me, the past falls like a stone
through the void voicelessly.
The silent blue time leaves me alone.
A sword’s edge blinks up: my hair – –

My mustache like a mellow caterpillar enfolds
my fade flavored mouth.
My heart hurts, the words get cold.
But to whom could I tell – –

Benyamin Bensalah

16.05.2021

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Reménytelenül” (1933).

Attila József: SILENCE

It’s alarming like the roaring sea
And just like the endless snow.
In the depths of his mask sad Death’s below-
Ah, it grabs into the comet of a cowardly Man, me

I throw my trembling soul in front of it.
I listen to my heart – is it still knocking?
And I’m tired of this monotonous music,
Though it’s so good if it beats and it’s solid.

I feel like walking on a swamp
And woe, the ground is sinking beneath me,
But still some soft resistance is whispering in me,

But my ears are stuffed. – Oh, what is still waiting
For me, who is now mute, numb.
With my head down, I succumb.

Benyamin Bensalah

05.05.2021

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Csend” (1922).

A BREATH OF AIR!

Who forbids me to tell you what hurt me
on the way home?
There was a lukewarm darkness on the lawn,
like velvet spray
and hurling without sleep under my feet,
as a struck child, silent growling was to leave
every tiny leaf.

Scouting, the bushes squatted in a circle
on the outskirts of the city.
The autumn wind stumbled cautiously right among.
On the cool mould
lurking towards the lights suspiciously;
a wild duck frightened howling from the lake viciously,
wherever I was going.

I just thought it might fall on me, who knows
this landscape is so deserted.
And here it is, an unexpected man comes,
but he departed.
I looked after him. He could rob me
since I don’t feel like defending myself in his arrival
while I am so miserable.

It’s kept on track what I called by phone
and when, why, to whom.
It’s written in files what I dreamed of
just as who’s understanding them.
And I can’t know when I will have enough reason
to unfolder that file-filled carton
which of my rights were sent to treason.

And in the country’s fragile villages
my mother was born there –
living law was falling like from tree,
as here these timbered-messages
and if they are overwhelmed by the adult misfortune,
they all ring to report a miserable warning
and they dust into portions.

Oh, that’s not how I imagined the order.
My soul is not so native.
I didn’t think existence could make it easier,
something that’s so deceptive.
Neither a people who are afraid when they vote,
with lowered eyes, considering a lurking note
and cheer up at its kaput.

I didn’t imagine order like that.
Though, if it’s me
Sometimes I didn’t even know why I was beat’,
as a small child me
who would have jumped to a good word right away.
I knew – by far my mother, I have no relative like they,
those were just strangers ready to prey.

I’ve grown up already. My teeth multiply
the foreign matter,
like death in my heart. But I have a right
and soul or clay,
yet I’m not like that and my skin isn’t so precious,
that I could handle wordlessly breathless,
if I’m not free!

My leader controls me from within!
Mankind, not wild –
we are minds! Our hearts, while mellowing desire,
are not data built-in.
Come on, freedom! You give me order,
so educate with good words, let play in disorder
your nice, serious son!

Benyamin Bensalah

14.03.2021

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Levegőt!” (1935).

Pierre Reverdy: The song of the dead (p.40)

I’ve passed too many dark lines
And I can’t come back
I covered my features with salt
and I no longer have a place in the world where I’ve belonged
Searching in the sun
Seeking in the darkness
And Iooking into your heart for an impossible echo
Towards the trails of boredom exiled in yourself
Or even beyond

Benyamin Bensalah

19.03.2021

Translated from the French poem of Pierre Reverdy, “Le chant des morts(p40)”.

Attila József: Maybe I’ll disappear in a sudden

Maybe I’ll disappear in a sudden
like a wild trail in the woods.
I turned everything to sullen
on which I could make reports.

My budding childish body
was dried out on corrosive smoke.
Grief makes my mind foggy
if I’d find out what my results spoke.

The teeth dugged in me early
of the desire that had found a stranger.
Now, a vibrating remorse is coming lately:
I could have waited ten years more over.

Not even by defiance, I ever understood
the meaning of the motherly words.
Then, I became an orphan, a no-good
and laughed at my instructors.

My youth, this green wilderness,
I believed it were free and eternal
and now I’m listening in tears
the dry branches as they rattle.

Benyamin Bensalah

13.03.2021

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Talán eltűnök hirtelen” (1937).

Attila József: Not above


Nobody’s raising me up anymore,
I weighed into the mud.
Don’t leave me sole like before,
accept your son, God.

Get me together, Forming Sky,
and what I’m forced to do;
to confess, to deny,
help me through all my due.

You know I’m just a child in my heart –
don’t reject me like I did with you;
don’t tear my view apart,
let me see some heaven, too.

I – being done already
borne with your burdens –
am standing in the shade, ready
to watch over my curtains.

Inspire all whom I love
to have a better heart on me.
Look at my case from above
in high time this world had me.

Benyamin Bensalah

11.03.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Nem emel föl” (1937).

Kata Csongrádi: SUNTHEM

The Sunbeam doesn’t ask
How much its light is worth
The Sunbeam doesn’t ask
What it will get in return
The Sunbeam doesn’t ponder
It just flows brightening.
Infinite caress and cuddle
but he does not ask for paying.

Love like the Sun, unconditionally
Like the Sun, which is built heartly.
Like the sun, born of light
Like the Sun, creating bright.

All people are a ray of light,
part of the universe
Who think they are just a byte,
But they are a part of the whole biodiverse.
All people are a ray of light,
one of the infinity.
All people are a ray of light,
but they do not dare to believe in reality.

Love like the Sun, unconditionally
Like the Sun, which is built heartly.
Like the sun, born of light
Like the Sun, creating bright.
Love by creating bright!

Benyamin Bensalah

24.09.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Kata Csongrádi, “Naphimnusz”(2005).

Let it hurt if it has to hurt

My heart is an empty stack,
For what, only myself deserves smack,
But it hurts.

Whoever falls into it
Will hang with me in it,
Such as: but it hurts!

My life’s a lifeless winter,
It’s snowing my head so sinister,
But it hurts.

My venom broke out if it would dare,
If there were anger, would you dare,
A lord of pain who hurts.

Although fate would finally give a way,
I’m not waiting only to give away,
So, let it hurt if it has to hurt.

Benyamin Bensalah

29.12.2017

Translated from my Hungarian poem, “Fájjon ha fájni kell.”

Attila József: WINTER

A big, big fire should be settled,
To let the people warm up.

Throwing on it everything that is antique, junks,
Shattered, broken and what is new and whole,
Children’s toy, – oh, happy hare and hounds!  –
And heaving on it everything that’s beautiful.

A hot flame would sing to the sky about it
And it would hold in its hands everyone’s properties.

A big, big fire should be settled,
Since the cities, the grounds are frostbitten …
To tear open the handles of the frosted cell
And light it up, to make everything heaten.

That fire, oh, should be settled,
To let the people warm up!

Benyamin Bensalah

20.09.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Tél” (1922).