Fall Issue 2022
Isadora Duncan Dancing
Like sculpture at first. Then, as if the sun rose in her, long
A small smile; then very much so.
of the rite shone; whirling.
She whirled and whirled,
Only the body spoke. The body carried her
Her dance a spell
swirling the air, a spiral she was
her shawl, the half circle around her,
the curve of the sea-shore and
the dancer and the dance apart…
(Trascreated by Cathy Strisik and Veronica Golos based on Katalin N. Ullrich’s translation.)
I don't know what it is but very ill-
intended. Sure a woman belongs.
And something like a laughter.
I am rotating the city on me,
rotating my beauty. That's that!
Many keys, small keyholes whirling.
Gazes cannot be all in vain. And the answer?
Merely a jeer.
The vase hugs me, killing, can't breathe.
Now my features - even with the best intentions -
cannot be claimed as a beauty.
And she? The girl? Her smarty perfume
is Poison. For me a real poison indeed.
And the vase?
His hugging kills me.
But what am I to do without?
As if my ears were the sacraments, a crowd
appears, appears before them. Lucky
I have nice big ears.
Deep and hollow.
The hip and breast sizes are coming.
Here comes the lonely one. She wants my husband.
Here comes the housewife. She's married, frigid.
When she doesn't come, she learns languages,
The lesbian? Doesn't come at all. Though
I would seduce her. If nothing comes of it, my
Ears would perk themselves. (Big as they are.)
Feminine women I don't invite on principle.
Nor any men. I go
But all they want is my ears.
And the mouths? Nonstop talkers.
And my ears? My ears are mute.
I change only my earrings from time to time.
My ears are mine.
(Translated by Michael Castro and Gábor G. Gyukics)
Something’s gone wrong between us.
Something that's never existed.
How come so insidiously?
So that I wasn’t even there at all?
The same way. It’s always the same
way. He’s good, he never inflicts
wounds. The other him? His own
light makes him shiver.
Wicked, gothic lace-trimmed neck. Ugly
posture, hopeful-cautious nakedness.
Infertile woman. How trite!
Too much and too little at the same time.
Little abstractions! I’ve composed
you all. It’s not very funny to
compose this way. It’s in fact like a
great big overstatement. Like love.
The two children, who not for me -
touched me deeply. Of course,
I didn’t show it. For want of better I
lived the part of the beautiful woman.
(Translated by Katalin N. Ullrich)
Kinga Fabó is a widely published, internationally known Hungarian poet (linguist, essayist). Her bilingual (Indonesian-English) poetry book has just come out. Further translations of her poetry into other foreign languages are being in progress. She has an essay on Sylvia Plath as well.
Fabó lives in Budapest, Hungary.