Out of Bulgaria, the great roar of the artillery thunders,
resounds on the mountain ridges, rebounds, then ebbs into silence
while here men, beasts, wagons and imagination all steadily increase;
the road whinnies and bucks, neighing; the maned sky gallops;
and you are etternally with me, love, constant amid all the chaos,
glowing within my conscience - incandescent, intense.
Somewhere within me, dear, you abide forever -
still, motionless, mute, like an angel stunned to silence by death
or a beetle inhabiting the heart of a rotting tree.
Miklós Radnóti (1909-1944), 30 de Agosto de 1944
Trad. de Michael R. Burch
Radnóti’s name is usually not associated with the pronounced literary tendencies (calling it a movement, despite its profound significance for contemporary Hungarian literature, would be going much too far) of some 40 or 50 years after his murder at the hands of fascists. Both were, however, a kind of poetry of testimony. Radnóti bore poetic witness to his own murderous age; the poets of the late twentieth-century, in their deeply experimental and rebellious use of language, to the ‘disintegrations’ of the late Kádár era. Yet these last poems of Radnóti’s, embodiments of physical ruin, snatched from the jaws of ruin, and their literal decomposition in his coat pocket in the mass grave at Abda seem somehow to prefigure the crisis and disintegration of language that his successors were to confront later on — that we all, to some extent, confront today.