Excerpt from “Notes on Fear” by Ágnes Nemes Nagy

Stanza 7

Pinned on the fieldpark
stand saplings stark,
their boughs drawing the eye skywards
to find, then, night has not come
yet, sky is still green, edged in chrome,
the bare branches outline
unknown ebony letters
and between above in sliced green
the evening star glitters.

and a bunch of tulips inside.

Stanza 8

Weathered like a traveller
so battered they are
these sweaty envoys
mumbling the lost lines
of their message made flesh:
their beauty launches – (through the slash

of the knife the knife that cut them
through the hand that bought and washed
the shop that sold them
through unbreachable mesh
of a cordon the heart’s startled cries
and hands’ hand’s-off clutch) –
their beauty launches the sizzling
thunderbolt into water, into my eyes.

From Between  by Ágnes Nemes Nagy, Trans Hugh Maxton. Publ. Corvina Press Budapest and Dedalus Press, Dublin.

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