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).

Attila József: What your heart is hiding


To Freud’s eightieth
birthday

What your heart is hiding
let your eyes to open that;
what your eyes are sighting
let you heart to wait for that.

In love – it’s said –
every living dies.
But happiness is like bread
we need a mouthful to vitalize.

And every living is but a child
longing for a mothering lap.
They go wild if they don’t get mild-
on the battlefield of wedding bed.

Be like the one being destroyed
wanting to reach the eighties
like the youth escaping the void
making a million of babies.

There are no more old days’
thorns broken into your feet.
Neither in your heart stays
more fear from a deathly defeat.

What your eyes are sighting
let your hands to grab that.
Whom your heart is hiding
either forget or have that!

Benyamin Bensalah

28.03.2021

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Amit szivedbe rejtesz” (1936).

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).

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).

Attila József: YOU KNOW THERE IS NO FORGIVENESS

You know there’s no forgiveness
so, it’s vain to turn to sadness.
Be what you meant to be: a man.
After you, there still grows grass.

The sin will not get lighter,
so, it’s vain if you water.
That you are an evidence to this,
thank what you could acquire.

Don’t blame, don’t swear
don’t be a jerk to yourself
don’t worship and don’t seduce
don’t join the army unaware.

Stay worthless,
don’t look at the secrets.
And with humanity,
since you are a man, don’t be reckless.

Remember you growled
and in  vain you implored.
You have become a false witness
at your own record.

You called Father being fallen,
man if you found none in heaven.
And you found grown bad spots
in your psychoanalytic canon.

You believed in easy talking,
in friends been just acting
and see, never, never anyone
said that you were worthy.

They cheated, they loved me so
you cheated and you can’t love also.
Now, grab the loaded gun
and squeeze it to your empty torso.

Or throw away all the principles
and still hope for faithful love-riddles,
since like a dog you would believe
in anyone who’d see you still love-able.

Benyamin Bensalah

08.07.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Tudod hogy nincs bocsánat”(1937).

Attila József: AS A CHILD …

As a child who swore revenge
and set the father’s house on fire
and now strangeness settles on him like a foggy stench,
and only by the one against whom he did conspire,

he could cry himself out, his covered up
face to show his free smile, –
I am forcing it so hopelessly I’d rather give up
to my tears: to find what I am worthwhile.

I cremated a world in my heart
and there’s no good word to cry on as a start,
huddled up I am just waiting for the prodigy,

that someone may come to accept my apology
and tells me nicely what absurdity
needs to be forgiven in this pitfall of mort!

Benyamin Bensalah

19.06.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Mint gyermek…”(1935).

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

25.04.2020

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