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Somlyó György: Stake and tree (Bot és fa in English)

Portre of Somlyó György

Bot és fa (Hungarian)

Virághoz metszettem karót,
leszúrtam mellé kis cserépnyi földbe,
s mert késem egykedvűn megölte,
természetesnek vettem, hogy halott,
s azt teszek vele, amit akarok,
nekem szolgál a puszta törzse,
gyökere, koronája letörve,
nem fa többé, csak holmi bot.
S mily megszégyenítő gyönyörüsége
az életnek: alig a földbe téve,
már bomlik gyantás bimbaja.
Csonkán, holt eszközzé alázva,
nemet kiált a nemtelen halálra:
hogy nem lesz bot, csak mindig újra fa.

Uploaded byP. T.
Source of the quotation

Stake and tree (English)

I cut a stake to hold a flower,
had pushed it in a pot of soil and thought
that as my knife had killed it, it really ought
be dead, that I commanded all the power
to make of it what whim would say I could,
and that its trunk was there to serve my need,
no shoots on it, no roots to feed,
a tree no longer, only a stake of wood.
But how the beauty of life puts man to shame:
no sooner was it in the earth there came
resinous buds that opened up with glee.
Maimed, reduced to thing, it dared defy
ignoble death, rejected it to cry
that it was more than wood - and stayed a tree.

Uploaded byP. T.
Source of the quotationL. A. K.