FORCED MARCH - Miklós Radnóti Poems


Poems » miklos radnoti » forced march

You're crazy. You fall down,    stand up and walk again,
your ankles and your knees move
but you start again    as if you had wings.
The ditch calls you, but it's no use    you're afraid to stay,
and if someone asks why,    maybe you turn around and say
that a woman and a sane death    a better death wait for you.
But you're crazy.    For a long time
only the burned wind spins    above the houses at home,
Walls lie on their backs,    plum trees are broken
and the angry night    is thick with fear.
Oh if I could believe    that everything valuble
is not only inside me now    that there's still home to go back to.
If only there were! And just as before    bees drone peacefully
on the cool veranda,    plum preserves turn cold
and over sleepy gardens    quietly, the end of summer bathes in the
Among the leaves the fruit    swing naked
and in front of the rust-brown hedge    blond Fanny waits for me,
the morning writes    slow shadows---
All this could happen    The moon is so round today!
Don't walk past me, friend.    Yell, and I'll stand up again!