‘Simile’ by Ágnes Nemes Nagy.



The one who has been rowing while the storm
Approaches near, who strains with every limb
Against the trusty footboard’s rigid form
And finds a sudden absence from the rim

Of the broken oar, weightless hand, and
Falling propulsion, falling
With the loosened, dropping shaft and
Whose whole body sags –

He knows what I know.  by Ágnes Nemes Nagy

Jorge de Aguiar Compass rose from Wikipedia.

I have recommended before now the reading of Ágnes Nemes Nagy in both poetry and poetic prose. The image I had chosen to illustrate the above poem was initially an adorable illustration from The Exeter University press edition of The Seafarer but the Aguiar Compass Rose suffices. There are some Poethead references to elegy in the Old English on the site and I may wish to link to the Seafarer image again.

The Poem above comes from the Corvina & Dedalus Edition of Between by Ágnes Nemes Nagy , in translation by Hugh Maxton and published in 1988. I recommend Maxton’s afterword discussion on Nagy’s Poetics.

Between , Selected Poems of Ágnes Nemes Nagy, Trans, Hugh Maxton.
Corvina Press (Budapest) and Dedalus Press (Dublin) 1988.

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