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Simic, Charles: Piknik éjjel (Night Picnic in Hungarian)

Portre of Simic, Charles

Night Picnic (English)

There was the sky, starless and vast--

Home of every one of our dark thoughts--

Its door open to more darkness.

And you, like a late door-to-door salesman,

With only your own beating heart

In the palm of your outstretched hand.


All things are imbued with God’s being--

She said in hushed tones

As if his ghost might overhear us--

The dark woods around us,

Our faces which we cannot see,

Even this bread we are eating.


You were mulling over the particulars

Of your cosmic insignificance

Between slow sips of red wine.

In the ensuing quiet, you could hear

Her small, sharp teeth chewing the crust--

And then finally, she moistened her lips.

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Source of the quotation

Piknik éjjel (Hungarian)

Ott volt az ég, roppant s csillagtalan -

Sötét eszméink lakóinak otthon -

Ajtaja még több sötétségre nyílt.

S te, megkésett házaló vigéc,

Csak saját dobogó szívedet

Kínáltad kinyújtott tenyereden.


Mindent átitat Isten lénye -

Mondta suttogva a nő,

Mintha kísértete kihallgatna minket -

A sötét erdők köröttünk,

Az arcunk, amit nem is látunk,

Még a kenyér is, amit majszolunk.


Te kozmikus jelentéktelenséged

Részletein rágódtál,

A vörös bort kortyolgatva lassan.

Majd csend lett, s hallhattad,

Hogy rágják a héjat hegyes kis fogai -

S hogy végül megnyalja az ajkát.

Uploaded byP. T.
Source of the quotation