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Rudolf Jurolek: Básne

Poems (En)

Rudolf Jurolek


Translated by James and Viera Sutherland-Smith


I won’t tell you, that I’m in love.

Love is too heavy a burden.

Only animals and saints can bear it.

What can I tell you? That I’m

feeble and overcome by a brief

gaze into the eye of a winded horse

or a cow driven to the knacker’s yard?

No, I’m incapable of love. Everything

I feel is pain.

And I don’t want anybody to love me.


Bells strike midday.

I lie on a bench in the forest park.

I look at the skies through the green glitter of the trees.


Evolution has passed me by:

Yet still the remains of paradise linger within me.


Over the winter in the south the tilted horizon

rolls out the living sun of the pharaohs.


In the blue window depths of the sky

an aeroplane sketches a fragile white line.


With the liquid secretions of my body, like brother wolf,

I mark my passage in the snow.


At that moment, Oh tolerant eternity,

I’m immortal.



Nostalgic paintings

of the August fields.


Heavenly tame colours,

mingling with the wind.


The red drop of the rowan

like the forgotten pain of paradise.


Lord, such a day,

and to be alive.



A long, assuaging

walk through a field.


The sun sets.


Nothing great, nothing fated,

only a trace of light:


a presentiment of heavenly gardens.



I recall now in winter, at four in the morning,

the clink of porcelain and metal teaspoons

in the small villas at the edge of a spa town

once long ago, in the quiet forenoon of a summer day:

somebody’s discreet life, plain and clear:

poetry exists.



The wind carries wisps of the willows’ gone blossom over the fields.

They fall somewhere and are lost, though they bear

the whole beauty of the world.


So many dreams come to nothing

only because the world’s reality does not accord with them.


But dreams return tirelessly,

ingeniously, changing form, permutating,

in newer and newer attempts at eternity.



The autumn landscape recalls love to me with pain.

The world is more bearable understanding you exist.


Ripe rose hips and sloes: shapes and colours,

in which there is the purest gain of the year.


Here was paradise. Here life happened.

Here I was with you.


To go to that autumn meadow

and to remember it for the sky.



I’m still able to see beauty:

a clump of trees in the middle of a deserted

winter field, a solitary rook in the snow.


But there’s no delight in this.

Somehow it’s stranger, a tormenting sorrow:

that I am,

that the world is.



If the only outcome

is the journey done,

weariness in the legs,

the wind, this restlessness in the landscape,

the sky over all of it: yet one more world.

Life is possible.


(From books Life is Possible and Spruce Forest.)