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).

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: The sin

I’m grave guilty, I think,
but I feel good.
The only that disturbs me in this nothing,
why I have no sin if there’s this mood.

That I am guilty is not doubtful.
But whatever I think
my sin is something else awful.
Maybe it’s a foolish thing.

Like a miserly lost gold,
I seek this sin;
I left a mother for it to be found
although my heart is thin.

And I will find it one day
as heroes of virtue ;
and to confess, I will pay a coffee
for all my crew.

I will tell: I killed.  I do not know
who, maybe my father –
been watching as his blood flow
on a clotted night’s altar.

I stabbed him with a knife.  I’m not coloring
since we are all in one manhood
and as we get stabbed, suddenly
then we fall down too.

I will tell.  And I’ll be waiting (as it’s obliged),
who runs away busily;
I will watch who is surprised;
who dreads happily.

And I notice someone
who with his eyes, warmly
indicates just that: There’s other one
and you are not lonely …

But maybe, my sin is childish
and foolish really.
Then, the world will be tiny
and I will let it play silly.

I don’t believe in God and if there’s,
let him not bother with me ;
I will justify myself;
who lives will help me.

Benyamin Bensalah

06.06.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “A Bűn” (1935).

Fazekas Anna : The Old Dame’s Deerling

At the Matra, in a country,
Lives my elder and dear auntie,
Warmhearted, hardworker and hale,
She is from whom I know this tale.

A bumbling deerling on a day,
Went astray onto the highway,
He fell over a fallen trunk,
Breaking his leg with crack and clunk.

While the poor was sadly weeping,
The old lady stopped there, seeing.
Taking him up, right to the lap,
She took the fawn home for a nap.

Curing him and cherishing him,
Not just healing his broken limb,
But giving him fresh hay, water,
As if she were his dear mother.

Katy the cat and Doug the dog,
Nestled to him next to the stove’s log,
Sharing humanely their one nest,
They could not hurt the little guest.

The fawn’s leg is quickly mending,
He could dance without pretending,
He could dance since he is not prude,
However, he wasn’t in the mood.

His doleful brown eyes in the far,
Are hanging on the morning star,
While the morning’s red-purple lights,
Are playing on the mountain’s sights.

Evening winds are chasing the haze,
Then, they get lost in the hills’ maze.
“My fresh crops are waiting for you,
Come home, deerling! We all love you!”

Tears sprang into the deerling’s eyes,
He wished to go back, without lies,
Only if his mother wouldn’t worry,
Only if his auntie wouldn’t pity.

Day and night he wants to go back,
Whither the smooth grass is his snack,
Where are fancy fields of flower,
Waiting for their deerling brother.

Where squirrels are jumping around,
Woodpeckers are hitting the trees’ crown,
Cuckoos are singing gay sonnets,
And ants are wearing heavy puppets.

He’s waited by the stream, by the wind,
By the running clouds there sky-pinned,
By the dewy blue-bell flower,
By the fields in colour-shower.

The old dame is weeping for him,
However, she won’t hold back him,
Each one has a home to live in,
Being deer woods or human housin’.

Escorting him until the gate,
The dame must tip-tap back and wait,
Waving to him until seeing:
“Farewell, my dear little deerling!”

Pacing slowly, ambling stilly,
Door is clacking, curtain’s swishy,
She is watching her dear from there,
For last, he may look back to her.

Her helpless little animal,
Hurries more and more his footfall,
And then, as fast as the lightning,
He is on the mountain, climbing.

But on the top, under the sky,
He turns back to say a goodbye:
“God bless you, field, and my old dame” –
Like the wind, he left as he came.

The summer fleets, the leaf falls down,
Every beech tree balds its ex-crown,
Snow blankets the houses, the lawn,
The old lady’s living alone.

Nature’s waking up, flowering,
She doesn’t forget her deerling,
The Earth is turning once and twice,
The gate is knocked by someone nice.

She looks out the window lattice,
What a strange nightly guest that is?
Moonlight beems upon the country,
She opens wide the wooden entry.

Her hands opens in hugging blow:
A deer, deerling and a mother doe,
Standing there, then letting them in,
Her heart’s beating, recognizing:

Her deerling became a deer dad,
Having a son now being sad:
His forefoot’s broken a little;
They visited the hospital.

He asked her with his bare eyes:
Please Dame, cure my son with your ties,
Don’t let him crying dear auntie,
May God return you your bounty.

Mist is afore them, fog behind,
They dressed the cape of night to hide,
Leaving their little in her arm,
Knowing, she will cure all his harm.

The little got cured one by one,
He was almost able to run,
And before the beech throws its mast,
The young buck is in the forest.

At the Matra, village border,
The Old Dame within the portal,
She’s not alone why she would be,
Cold or hot, she’s a busy bee.

She’s surrounded by bucks and does,
They’re coming back as visitors,
Winter-summer, from year to year,
They bow their head to Mother Deer.

The village folks loving her too,
They give her nicknames, one or two:
The Old Lady within the dear,
Or just simply Dear Mother Deer.

Red poppy, carnation, sage bloom,
Are decorating her mild room,
In big vases and little jugs,
Rainbow colours like made of drugs.

A flower from Steven Peter,
Another from Flower Esther,
A third one from Johhny Seral,
Surely, they’ll be good persons all.

The wild flowers followed by songs,
The room’s full of musical tongues,
Children singing is far and near,
While laughes and cries Dear Mother Deer.

At the Matra, in a country,
Lives my elder and dear auntie,
Warmhearted, hardworker and hale,
Her golden heart is in this tale.

Salt loaves wait the little deerlings,
Swiss rolls wait for the new-comings,
Be her guest, you too, I just say:
This is the tale’s end; run away!

Benyamin Bensalah

11.10.2017

Translated from the Hungarian long poem of Anna Fazekas, “Öreg néne özikéje”.

Attila József : THE INVENTORY IS READY

I trusted only myself from the beginning –
if you have nothing, the cost will be willing
for the man. In no way it will be more
than for the animal that dropped not living anymore.
Even if I was scared, I found my stand-
I was born, I mingled and I did out-stand.
I even paid everyone just as was the measure,
who gave it for free, I accepted with pleasure.
Women, if I was play-toy for any of their flattery:
I believed it really – let them be happy!
I scrubbed ships, pulling buckets as my only tool.
Among smart gentlemen, I played the fool.
I sold spinners, breads and books,
newspapers, poems – whenever what smooths.
Not in a glorious combat, not on a gentle rope,
but I end up in a bed, sometimes I hope.
Either way, now the inventory is ready.
I lived – and even others have died in it already.

Benyamin Bensalah

18.02.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila Jozsef, “Kész a leltár” (1936).

Attila József: Motivating

In China, there’s hanging tangerine.
Today has killed the cocaine.
The straw is buzzing, go to sleep.
Today has killed the cocaine.

Through the window of the store
Till the cashier, sees the poor.
The straw is buzzing, go to sleep.
Till the cashier, sees the poor.

Take a sausage and take some bread,
keep well your living breath.
The straw is buzzing, go to sleep,
keep well your living breath.

Whoever will cook, will kiss, too,
once, there will be a woman, too.
The straw is buzzing, go to sleep,
once, there will be a woman, too.

Benyamin Bensalah

31.01.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Biztató” (1927).

Attila József: THE SEVENTH

In this world if you are hitting a camp,
seven times your mother shall give birth in cramp!
Once, be born inside a house burning,
once in an icy flood whirling,
once in a mental asylum fooling,
once in beautiful wheat swinging,
once in a monastery hollow-sounding,
once among pigs in the pigpen.
The six cries up, but what will be with you?
The seventh shall be you!

Enemy, if he comes before you,
shall find seven of you.
One who starts his day out of duty,
one who does his service orderly,
one who educates his nation freely,
one who was thrown into water to swim,
one who’s the seed of a forest coming,
one whose ancestors were defending him,
all tricks and guns are not enough, tho,

the seventh shall be you!

If you’d sweetheart a lover,
there shall be seven after her.
One who gives a heart for his word,
one who pays for his own hazard,
one who plays star-gazing,
one who’s in the skirt searching,
one who knows where’s the staple,
one who steps on the scarf with trample –
buzzing her like flies on a meat that’s blue!

The seventh shall be you.

If you’d poetize and there’s token,
there shall be seven writing that poem.
One who makes a village from marble,
one who was born in slumber,
one who measures the sky and nods unbothered,
one who is called on his name by the word,
one who strikes his soul,
one who autopsies a living rat in a bowl.
Scientists four, and warriors two,

the seventh shall be you.

And if all was as it was written,
as seven men, you shall be in a grave hidden.
One who’s cradled by a milky breast,
one who’s grabbing after a lusty breast,
one who throws away an empty bowl,
one who helps to win the poor,
one who works dropping soon,
one who just looks at the Moon:
Living under the world’s tomb!

The seventh shall be you.

Benyamin Bensalah

18.01.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem, “A hetedik” (1932) by Attila József.

Moonborn

Moonborn who’s dead in daylight
Screamed, for no reply despite.
C’mon! Who would reply someone
Whose words are just pun
Of someone.

Indeed it’s a little bit child-like,
But the moonlight is what I like.
The darkness is my only friend,
I need no one other to pretend,
A friend.

Like a modernized vampire, he flees
From the daylight promenades.
Though he bears it, but doesn’t love,
Rather he would choose a cove,
No one.

He is escaping day to day,
Chasing the night only to say:
Moonlight! Why I was born?
As a living, why I must mourn,
My self.

Moonborn who’s dead in daylight
Screamed, for no reply despite.
C’mon! Who would reply someone
Whose words are just pun
Of someone.

Benyamin Bensalah

02.08.2017

Translated from my Hungarian poem, “Hold szülötte” (2009).

To sit, to stand, to hug, to die

To push this chair away,
to croach in front of a train,
to climb a mountain carefully,
to shake my bag out in the valley,
to give a bee to my old spider,
to caress an old mother,
to eat a tasty brown bean chowder,
to pace on tiptoes, it’s muddy,
to put my hat down to the rail,
to go around the lake only,
to sit in its bottom clothed in vain,
to blush amongst the tinkling bubbles,
to flourish amongst sunflowers –
to give a nice sigh instead,
to hush a fly away only,
to dust my books when they get dirty, –
to spit into my mirror’s middle,
to sign my enemies’ peace treaty,
to kill them all with a long knife’s shearing,
examining the blood how it’s running,
looking after a girl how she’s turning over –
sitting standly, so as, instead,
burning up the capital,
to wait for birds at my morsel,
to throw my bad bread to the ground,
to make cry my good lover,
to grab her younger sister onto the lap
and if this world is my account,
leaving it so as to be in no more recount – –

oh, you tying, you dissolving,
now, on this poem typing,
making laughter, making crying,
oh, my life, you choice for trying!

Benyamin Bensalah

10.10.2019

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Ülni, Állni, Ölni, Halni”(1926).

János Áfra: Listening

Each other’s distorted mirror images
we are, two facing
X-ray images. On one side
bigger skull and less
emotion. Still the same way,
a shade is in our chest,
a hidden pump, the heart.

Two fluoroscoped torsos,
wrapped with tempers,
in golden yellow frames. Between us
like the back of a book, are shading
the edges of the papers, our common borders.
Sketched on the margin, there are blurred
Eastern calligraphies, jealousy-made
trace system. The will’s
hereditary prehistoric images
to break up mortals.

The earthly cold of freedom would allow
to let you go, but I can’t
distinguish yet, the thoracic cavity’s
and the skull’s night’s warm.
I’m rather listening through your breast
how your heart is beating.

Translated from the Hungarian poem of János Áfra, “Hallgatás” (2014)

Benyamin Bensalah

02.01.2020