Miklós Radnóti

Miklós Radnóti

Hungarian poet
5 May 1909 — 9 November 1944

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You see, now fear often fingers your heart,
and at times the world seems only distant news;
the old trees guard your childhood for you
as an ever more ancient memory.

Oh, gently rocking afternoon, give me peace -
I will lie down too, and work later.
The light of your sun is already hanging on the hedges,
and yonder the evening comes across the hills.

Oh you who love me, love me bravely!

You’re crazy. You fall down, stand up and walk again,
your ankles and your knees move pain that wanders around,
but you start again as if you had wings.
The ditch calls you, but it’s no use you’re afraid to stay,
and if someone asks why, maybe you turn around and say
that a woman and a sane death a better death wait for you.

You are permanent within me in this chaos.
Somewhere deep in my mind you shine forever, without
moving, silent, like the angel awed by death,
or like the insect burying itself
in the rotted heart of a tree.

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