Lives Journal 14

Valentin Polanshek

 

ONE WITH EVERYTHING AROUND ME

 

 

IDYLL

 

I'd like to be a morning

with the odor of buckwheat

and the steam of cooking milk –

a morning like that.

 

I'd like to be a morning

with homemade black bread

and new apple wine –

intoxicating after hard work.

 

I'd like to be a morning

with the monotony of prayers

and peaceful matrimonial sleep –

at one with everything around me.

 

 

 

AT LEAST YOU CAN SEE AGAIN

 

I'm glad

that there's no more grass

or leaves,

that everything is desolate,

said

the somber

larches

and they too stripped themselves.

At least the myth of nascence

has been dealt an end to

so that it will be clear to us

for what purpose we have lived

amidst this deceitful radience.

 

 

 

THE BALLADE OF HANDS

 

I was a child.

My hands implored

and I stammered.

 

I was a boy.

My hands worked

and I sang.

 

I was a soldier.

My hands held weapons

and I screamed.

 

I was a man.

My hands bore

and I loved.

 

I grew old.

My hands became gnarled

and I prayed.

 

 

 

MY COUSIN MARIA

 

at the age of eighteen

with her girlish dreams

and budding aspirations

found herself in

Ravensbrück

where she shed

countless tears

and has remained

forever

among the hundreds of thousands

of her companions in doom

from all over Europi

who shared her fate.

 

 

 

Translated by Herbert Kuhner (with V. Jesenik, P. Kersche, K. D. Olof, V. Polanshek)

 

 

 

 

VALENTIN POLANSHEK (1928, Leppen bei Eisenkappel / Lepena pri Zhelezna Kapla – 1985, Vienna), Austrian-Carinthian Slovenian poet, writer. After teachers' college in Klagenfurt, the school principal. Lyric poetry with a landscape and national reflection, simple in expression but precisely touching melancholic (tragic) core of Carinthian existence. Children's poems, short prose, novels. Also an active musician (he composed his own songs for the »Obir female octet«; toured Europe with it).

(ed. n. I. A.)

 

 

Slovenian (gajica)

Slovenian (bohorichica)