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This poem is taken from PN Review 4, Volume 4 Number 4, July - September 1978.

Four Poems Míklós Radnóti

translated from the Hungarian by George Gömöri and Clive Wilmer. Miklós Radnóti (1909-44) was among the finest Hungarian poets of the interwar period. Some of the poems printed here were written in a forced labour camp shortly before his death.

'SPRING FLIES . . .' The Prologue to the Eclogues

Ice glides down the river; the bank darkens, blotched with thaw.
The snow is melting. Now, the infant sunbeams paddle
In the small puddles that form in the tracks of roebuck and hare.
pring flies, hair streaming loose, over recumbent hills;
Deep in the mine shafts, and down in the burrows of moles,
She runs along roots of trees and under the buds' soft armpits,
Rests on the stalks of trembling leaves, then rushes on.
And over the meadows, on the hill's ripple, over rippling lakes, the sky
             With a blue flame is flickering by.

Spring flies, hair streaming loose, but the angel of past freedom
No longer flies beside her, but is sleeping deep down, frozen
Into yellow mud: unconscious, he lies among stunned roots.
He sees no light down there, not even the troops of tiny
Green leaves from shrubs unfurling. It's hopeless, he will not waken.

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