Árpád Tóth: Lélektől lélekig

From soul to soul

Translated from Hungarian
by Watson Kirkconnell

I stand beside my window in the night
and through its gulfs, immeasurably far
there gathers to my eye a quivering light,
the gentle radiance of a far-off star.

A billion miles or more it came to me
across the chill, black darknesses of space.
Thousands of years it sped untiringly
with none to rack off its celestial race.

Its heavenly message has arrived at last,
safe in my sight from wandering through the skies,
and dies content when I upon it cast
the coffin-cover of my weary eyes.

But through prismatic crystals lured and bent
the self-same ray reveals its parent flame,
and gives us news of many an element
related to our earth and my sad frame.

I drink it in. Locked in my veins it throbs.
And dreamily, in silence, I can feel
what ancient sorrow to my blood it sobs,
when timeless griefs the heavens to earth reveal.

Perhaps the stars feel pangs of lonely heat,
being a million orphans lost in space?
Perhaps they mourn because we cannot meet
across the icy night through which we pace?

Why weep, O star? No further do you stand
than human heart of earth from human heart.
Ah, who can tell if, at my own right hand,
my friends, or Sirius, move more apart?

Alas for friendship, and alas for love!
Alas for the impervious road from soul to soul!
Rays from our weary eyes unceasing move,
but icy voids of night between us roll.

From soul to soul

Árpád Tóth
Translated by Imre P. Zsoldos

Standing next to the window at night,
Leering through the immense distance
I collect in my retina the trembling
Rays of a suave star back of beyond!

This light came from billions of miles
It came through the icy, black and bare
Areas incessantly pushing forwards! Who
Knows how many years it already traveled.

It’s a celestial message, which finally
Found me and in my eyes, its purpose!
It will die happily when I will close the
Coffin-cover of my wearied, tired eyelids!

I acquired that this celestial light brings
News, after it has been sieved through fine
Instruments of scientists to our sad earth
And my sad body which is related to them.

I hide it in myself, I do imbibe it thirstily
While I’m contemplating in complete silence
What an ancient, sad tune chants in light
To the blood, to the earth, to the elements!

Is it possible that the stars dislike be alone?
How many millions are up there like orphans!
How come that we never meet in this icy distance,
Pitch dark obscurity and outlying inter-space?

Oh sweet star! Why do you cry? You are not further
From me than our hearts from each other on the earth!
You, Syrius, are you the farthest from me or a friend
Of mine! Oh, who can tell, oh, who can really tell?

From soul to soul

Árpád Tóth
Translated by Réka vitéz Takács

I stand beside the window late at night,
And through the vast, incalculably far
Distances of space, my eyes receive
The signals of a gently pulsing star.

Its light has journeyed through a billion miles,
Through icy darkness, lightless barren spheres
Of emptimness, presistent and unflagging
Across who knows how many thousand years,

A cosmic message that has found its way
To me at last, its terminus my eyes,
Which, thus fulfilled, is quite content to die;
I close my eyelids on it, coffin-wise.

And I have learned how sieved through the fine crystal
Instruments of science as through a mesh,
This alien light brings news of elements
At one with our sad planet and my flesh.

I lock it away, absorb it in my veins,
Observe it with a hushed presentiment;
What primal woe weeps light to blood, the sky
To earth, and element to element?

Perhaps it grieves the stars to be alone,
Those million solitudes dispersed through space?
The fact that they can never meet again
Through night, through ice, through monstrous emptiness?

O star, why do you weep? You’re no more isolated
Than earthly spirits, dwelling at removes!
Who is to say which is the further off,
The dog-star Sirius, or those we love?

SOURCE: Vitéz Newsletter, Order of Vitéz Newsletter, English Synopsis of the Hungarian ‘Vitézi Tájékoztató’ No. 2008/4, p. 8. Lectured & topics chosen by Péter Czink VRNT. Foreword edited and translated by Szabolcs vitéz Hajdú. Issue edited by Gyula vitéz Soltész.

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Alireteje / On other sites:

Árpád Tóth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Sophisticated ‘Weltschmertz’: Árpád Tóth

A History of Hungarian Literature From the Earliest Times to the mid-1970's
by Lóránt Czigány

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Árpád Tóth @ Ĝirafo

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Uploaded 24 August 2015

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