Monday, 25 May 2009

The Door from Miroslav Holub

The first of several Miroslav Holub poems in English translated by P-i-R from Reihe Hanser's (Franz Peter Künzel) German translation of the Czech originals. They are therefore not direct translations. The result is a kind of poetic Chinese whispers.

The Door

Go and open the door.
Perhaps outside
there's a tree, or a wood,
or a garden,
or a magic town.

Go and open the door.
Perhaps outside
there's a dog scratching.
Perhaps there's a face outside,
or an eye
or the picture
of a picture.

Go and open the door.
If there's fog outside
it will go.

Go and open the door.
There could be outside only
singing darkness,
and there could be outside only
wind's hollow breath
and there could be
absolutely nothing
go and open the door.

At least
there would be
a draught.

gw 2009


  1. Thanks so much for the help with the poem - do like your version very much. You are such a help and always spur me on to better things.

  2. Ta! 'twas merely a sideways look ~:-) .....................I took

  3. looking forward to this Gwilym

  4. Well John, Miroslav and me ...we're up and running.

  5. Nice post. It shows how rich could a literature be in terms of translation.Through translating shows the rich blend of knowledge and culture in a society.Whether in German translation or in any foreign language translation helps one to get acquainted with the thoughts, traditions, principles and actions of the people from the region.

  6. kaye, thanx very much for your nice comment, much appreciated!


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