Willis Barnstone

Miklós Radnóti



Because time is a fiction in the mind,
I don’t want to die, that is, in July
or Friday or last year. Farms and haystacks
are burning today. I Miklós Radnóti
write you a postcard with a poem. Darling,
I say to myself I won’t lie down. The ox
drools blood. The shepherd girl is an orphan
when the troops stray over the wheatfields.
Wife, after they beat me to death, look through
my trenchcoat, in the mass grave, for the poems.

Maybe in two years, by 1946,
you will find our bodies. Today all over
Hungary and Poland I am dying. In taverns
I am already forgotten. How could the smell
of my hair linger? I hid in cellars too,
smoked in darkness, kissed kisses of the taste
of blackberries. When peace comes I won’t be
at the Writers Club. Angels drink artillery.
Peasants dream among fleas, among worms. Wife,
the poems are time’s wings. Spread them darkly.



SOURCE: Barnstone, Willis. "Miklós Radnóti," in Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust, rev., 2nd ed., edited by Charles Adés Fishman (St. Louis, MO: Time Being Books, 2007), p. 55.


Odo hezita” de Miklós Radnóti, trad. Márton Fejes

Letero al la edzino de Miklós Radnóti, trad. F. Szilágyi

"Lament for the Gypsies" by Julius Balbin

Du poemoj de Julius Balbin

All That Still Matters at All: Selected Poems of Miklós Radnóti,
translated by John M. Ridland & Peter V. Czipott

Miklós Radnóti at Babelmatrix: Hungarian Works translated to English

Survivors: Hungarian Jewish Poets of the Holocaust,
edited and translated by Thomas Ország-Land

Jewish Writers in Hungarian Literature


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Uploaded 26 April 2021

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