Monday, October 1, 2012

Vladimir Holan

She Asked You

A young girl asked you: What is poetry?
You wanted to tell her: Among other things, it's the fact that
     you are, oh yes, the fact that you are,
and in my fear and wonder,
which are witnessing a miracle,
I'm painfully jealous of your ripe beauty,
and jealous that I must not kiss you and I must not sleep
     with you,
and that I have nothing, and he who has nothing to give
must sing . . .

But you didn't tell her this, you said nothing
and she didn't hear you singing . . .

--Vladimir Holan 

tr. Hanzlicek & Hábová


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