Attila József: YOU WILL GROW OLD

You will grow old and regret it,
that you hurt – what you are proud of today.
The conscience will knock in
and there will be no memory in which it would leave you to flee.

You will have an old dog and it will settle down next to you.
You will rest during the day, taking a nap in a chair,
because at night you will be afraid staying only on you.
Shadows hit the shivering gammer.

The old dog will squeak sometimes,
but there will be silence in the room, all in order;
but someone will be missed from old times
to be there in that lonely silent corner.

Then you will toddle: and if you toddled enough
with your bad legs, you sit down. Above in a golden frame,
there’s your younger picture. You mutter to that stuff:
“I didn’t hug her because I didn’t love her name.”

“What could I have done?”  – you ask
but your toothless mouth can no longer respond;
and you close your eyes by the sun’s cast,
you can’t wait it to be mooned.

Because if you fall asleep, the bed will bounce,
like a young horse to take off the harness.
And fear is wondering, not romance,
in your head: to love, not to love, nevertheless.

You decide in yourself. I’m in pain
that I can’t answer if you ask: is he alive.
Because in me there’s an exhausted pain,
falling asleep as a child, and with that I will also dive.

Benyamin Bensalah

06.04 2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Majd megöregszel” (1936).

Attila József: Enlighten


Enlighten your child:
the beasts are human-kind;
the witches – mongers, roosters.
(Bastard dogs, not wolves!)
              They either bargain or philosophize,
              but they all trade hope for money;
              some sells coal, some lovely lies
              and some such poetic symphony.
And comfort him if it’s a comfort
to the child that it is a true sort.
Maybe, mutter a new tale,
with fascist-communist detail –
             whereas there must be order in the world,
             and the order is only for,
             so that the child can hold worth
             and be not free, that is fair.
And if the child opens his mouth
and looks up at you or cries, shouts –
don’t fall for him, don’t believe these
to stun your principles!
            Look at the crafty baby:
           growls to make you feel sorry beneath,
           but while he’s smiling at the tittie,
            he grows his nails and teeth.

Benyamin Bensalah

04.04.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Világosítsd föl” (1936).

The abyss is breaking

The abyss is too huge between you and me,
even if you managed to undress me.
I tried for a while to be the one for you,
even if sometimes it seemed untrue.

You think too easily and so you sense
your complex actions are fencing common sense.
For my emotions, a thousand thoughts wouldn’t be enough,
my actions are so few, I don’t tell to prevent the laugh.

The abyss is breaking, I’m waving from its side,
I really loved you, if I look inside.
My love is eternal, it will stay with you forever
but wee need to accept, this break won’t cease ever.

Many times, the break up hurts, as it will do now,
but there’s been worse than this, and will be better somehow.
We weren’t for each other the one
but then it will come, that person will come.

I’m thanking you every single minute,
I will not forget you, I promise. Salute!

Benyamin Bensalah

03.04.2020

Translated from my Hungarian poem, “Szakad a szakadék” (2008)

József Attila: (An ancient rat spreads disease…)


An ancient rat spreads disease among us,
the unthoughtful thought,
it gobbles into, what was cooked by us
and runs from man into man fraught.
Because of it, the drunken never knows,
if he kills his sadness into champagne,
that little miserable poor’s
blank soup is what he’s about to drain.

And since the nations’ spirit
doesn’t squeeze out wet rights,
so new outrages animate
the species, each and all of us, against.
The oppression is croaking in teams,
onto the living heart, it flies as mere carcass-
and on the globe, the misery streams,
as on the idiots’ jaws the salivas.

The wings are hanging on the distresses’
pinned-down summers.
The machines are crawling on us,
like nighty beetles.
In our inner cavity there’s the hidden grateful
loyalty, the tears are falling in flames –
they are chasing eaching other, the revengeful
desire and conscience.

And like the jackal that turns to the stars
to throw up his strain,
on our sky where torment sparks,
the poet is yowling in vain.
Oh, stars, you. Rusty, rough
irondagger-like all around
endlessly stabbing my soul rough’-
(here, the only place is under ground.)

And still I hope. In tears, I’m to you,
our dear future, don’t be so drear!
I hope, since like people before me and you,
impaling is not a due here.
Then, the peace of freedom
may come, smoothens the pain-
and we will be also forgotten
on arbours’ shady terrain.

Benyamin Bensalah

14.03.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem of József Attila, “Ősi patkány terjeszt kórt” (1937).

Attila József: You came with a stake

You came with a stake, not with flower,
you quarreled with the wild blue yonder,
you promised gold with a big container,
to your mother and now you’re just here, sitting,

like crazy mushrooms on the tree-stump,
( so is the one, if there’s any, to a lil chump),
you’re locked as the Seven Towers’ dump
and you’ll be never be escaping.

Why did you bite into stone with milk teeth?
Why did you hurry if you left beneath?
Why didn’t you dream under your sheet?
What should we have finally said?

You always made yourself uncovered,
you always scratched your wounds, never recovered,
you are famous if it’s that you desired.
And how many weeks are the world?  You mad.

You loved?  Who was bound to you?
You were hiding?  Who chased you?
Win what you can, if you can cope through,
you have no knife, nor a loaf of bread.

You are locked into the Seven Towers,
rejoice if you can afford hot showers,
rejoice, for there are soft bolsters,
to lower down nicely your head.

Benyamin Bensalah

11.03.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Karóval jöttél…” (1937).

Attila József : You made me a child

You made me a child. Vainly I was growing
thirty crying winters over the agony.
I can neither walk, nor I can sit around.
My limbs are dragging me, pushing toward you.

I hold you in my mouth, like a dog hold its puppy
and I’d like to flee from strangling.
The years that have been broken by my destiny,
are raining upon me in every moment.

Feed me, look – I’m hungry.  Cover me – I’m cold.
I’m stupid – give your mind to me.
Your absence is piercing me, like the wind through a household.
Tell me – There’s no reason to fear.

You looked at me and I dropped everything.
You listened to me and my voice got stuck.
Dare not to let me be so recklessly uncaring;
letting myself  live and die by myself amok!

My mother froze me out – I was on the doorstep –
I would hide inside me, I couldn’t tho –
beneath me stone and above me emptiness.
Oh, how I could sleep!  I’m rattling at you.

Many people live who are insensitive like me,
still, their eyes let tears out.
I love you very much, since even me
I could really love myself with you.

Benyamin Bensalah

08.03.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Gyermekké tettél(1936).

Village night

Dark, raw and cold is the night.
Surrounding and painting joy on my sight.

The noise is a deeply listening silence.
That has been – in daylight – a wild, mad trance.

The gray roads are sleeping in rest.
Forgetting the daylong toil and unrest.

Sleeping every man, every beast.
Maybe, my heart’s the only that still beats.

I’m energized from the tranquility.
Walking silently through the dark – mini city.

Lamplights cut the darkness sometimes.
On which the time’s committed a thousand of crimes.

Their old, weak and artifical glimmer.
Just makes the night more original and a way dimmer.

Those cracked concrete roads and glimmering lamps.
The sweeping-running world never waits for us saying thanks.

Now, the night is still silent, full of mountain air.
Thou, day to day, it’s being made unmade by a modern snare.

Thus, day to day I must wonder on the village night.
Since, it’s still a lone guard of the mother nature’s tranquilizer sight.

Benyamin Bensalah

29.07.2018

Translated from my Hungarian poem, “Falusi este” (2008)