PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing
‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing

(PN Review 236)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017

(PN Review 235)
Kate BinghamPuddle
(PN Review 236)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue Michelle Holmes on ‘Whitman, Alabama’ Les Murray Eight Poems Gabriel Josipovici Who Dares Wins: Reflections on Translation Maureen N. McLane Four Poems James Womack Europe (after the German of Marie Luise Kaschnitz)

This poem is taken from PN Review 209, Volume 39 Number 3, January - February 2013.

The Bridges of Budapest (translated by Marilyn Hacker) Translated from the French by Marilyn Hacker Jean-Paul de Dadelsen
They hanged me for having wanted to live.
They hanged me for not having killed.
They - it's not the same ones every day - hanged me
for having believed what the others foretold
in their textbooks at the night school for retarded adults. They hanged me
for nothing. To forget their fear. To strangle their shame.

Hear them, on the bridges of Budapest, coexist,
the hanged men of every catechism and cosmogony.
Once the bad moment is over, we keep each other company -
the more hanged men there are, the more conversation,
where we're at now, we can laugh all the more.
The wind on the blue Danube fills our pockets now emptied forever of grenades,
frost stiffens our bodies' excrescences. For six days
I slaved away; the seventh day I rested, I saw.

Strange mandrakes will be born on the roads
when the tanks, when the dogs, when the overflowing sewers
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image