In getting together our edition of Tibor Déry's (that's Déry Tibor to you Magyarphiles) novel Niki we came across some poems of his, published in the short-lived Dokumentum, a journal he helped edit. After dropping some not-so-subtle hints to poet and translator George Szirtes (who has written the introduction to Niki) that it would be wonderful to read the poetry in English, he graciously had a go at translating one or two. We should mention that the poems would not have been found had they not been digitized by the New York Public Library.
born into sunlight
they swam around her silent
one spring night they entered my heart
the well of resurrection!
their golden ferries glittered through my breast
look at them dancing!
years march on monotonous in the garden greenhouse
here and there a face leans towards me
and sheds its tears
feed my goldfish
the wind moans outside
day’s leaden back casts its shadow across us
who will unearth time’s infinite gifts from my body?
in the dust of the street…
there sprawl the lost nights
gilded wooden statues of beggars march along the boulevard
the stars above them: the purple-scaled highway of my fish