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Válek, Miroslav: Matches (Zápalky in English)

Portre of Válek, Miroslav

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Zápalky (Slovak)

Zápalka smútku chytá potichučky
(už dávno nezáleží na mene),
samota prišla bez dotknutia kľučky
a pripomína veci stratené.

Cez polnoc tiahne; zrazu horia krute
i ostatné, čo boli spálené,
prst dažďa chytá vtáka za perute
a kvapky bijú na sklo ako kamene.

Zápalka dávna zažína sa znova
a tak jak dávno pália ma jej plamene;
mal som ju rád; no škoda o tom slova,
už dávno nezáleží na mene.

Jej plavá kader ako zo sna vlaje
a šerejú sa oči zahmlené,
no ja som iný, ona zmenená je
a dávno nezáleží na mene.

Nad ránom celkom zápalka sa láme
a prúžok dymu, svedok váhavý,
prezradí všetkým, na čo spomíname,
keď nakreslí nám jemne nad hlavy
zlomené srdce a pery zmámené,
čo klamú: nezáleží na mene.

Uploaded byRépás Norbert
PublisherKALLIGRAM, Edícia: Knižnica slovenskej literatúry
Source of the quotationMiroslav Válek - Básnické dielo, ISBN: 80-7149-795-9
Bookpage (from–to)54-55
Publication date

Matches (English)

The sadness takes its match and quietly flares,
(since long time back hasn’t mattered her name),
loneliness came without handle touch upstairs
and reminds me of things gone with the rain.

Midnight is over; cruel flames are flaring up
even the others, lit and burnt out once,
the rain’s fingers are tapping on bird’s wings flap
and drops drum on the window pane like stone ones.

Passed match is catching[1] the light now once again
and as at that time gone I feel her burning flame;  
I loved her, I lit her in my mind; in vain,
since long time back hasn’t mattered her name.

Her fair curl flows as if from a summer dream
and misty grey eyes gently draw their brim,
well, she looks different, nor I am the same,
and since long back hasn’t mattered her name.

By dawn the match is quite shrivelled laying snapped
and a curl of smoke, wavering witness,
will dare split on me all what the matchbox kept
by drawing fading picture pencilless
of broken heart and the lips beguiled wet
which still lie: the name does not matter yet.

[1] “Passed match is catching the light now once again and as at the time gone I feel her flame;” The Slovak language has genders for things. Coincidentally, the match has female gender so in the next verse it is not clear whether the narrator means the lady or just the match. It creates an ambiguity which we would like to preserve. 

Uploaded byRépás Norbert
PublisherAmazon Kindle Edition
Source of the quotationCollection of Poems: Miroslav Válek, ASIN: B00V6YBLWK
Bookpage (from–to)Kindle Locations 77-88
Publication date