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This poem is taken from PN Review 6, Volume 5 Number 2, January - March 1979.

from Crater (translated by Peter Jay) Janos Pilinszky


Man and beast pulse alike in my heart.
As the red glaze on stoneware, so
the pouring, blotched and common
sweat burns on me.


In the end you simply disturbed everyone.
The rhythmical, hobnailed noise of your boots
becoming too heavy, always around midnight,
that you've come home, and this vexation,
ultimately all that's left of you.

And yet, by then you were just
thrashing around with your legs,
like a laboratory animal
marching, marching on the air.


The ivy has overgrown the piano,

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