Archive for June, 2013

Those few years – Antonin Bartusek

You refuse to give up.
You go on hoping.
You collect the fingerprints
of every catastrophe,
hoping to catch them red-handed.
The snow falls doubly.
Suddenly we have grey hair,
both of us.

(translated by George Theiner)

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Between birth and death,
Three in ten are followers of life,
Three in ten are followers of death,
And men just passing from birth to death also number three in ten.
Why is this so?
Because they live their lives on the gross level.

He who knows how to live can walk abroad
Without fear of rhinoceros or tiger.
He will not be wounded in battle.
For in him rhinoceroses can find no place to thrust their horn,
Tigers no place to use their claws,
And weapons no place to pierce.
Why is this so?
Because he has no place for death to enter.

(Translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)

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Conception – Antonín Bartušek

At a time of such uncertain certainties
such certain uncertainties
– it’s dark in this room –
what do we know of the light beyond the windows –
of the morning which will come noisily tomorrow
using our face to call our name?
All you, for whom hurting
is synonymous with living –
I live.
I also live –
shielding my modest flame with my hand
as in a storm –
I open the door of the tomb
and go in …

(Translated from Czech by George Theiner)

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