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Poetry

Come with Me to the Countryside

By Tristan Tzara
Translated from Romanian by Victor Pambuccian

House under construction with dried branches, like spiders, in your scaffolding
Rise to skies with serenity
Until the clouds will have served as curtains
And the stars: relief for lamps on balconies in the evening.

Between two chestnut trees burdened like discharged patients
Grew the Jewish cemetery – out of boulders;
On the outskirts of town, on a hill,
Crawl graves like worms.

The yellow dogcart waits for us at the train station
In me reeds get torn with a paper rustle
I’d like to come to an end slowly all across the country
And that my soul would hesitate like a dancer on a string.

Roaming the woods are
Gypsy beggars with ashen beards
That you’re afraid to meet
When the sun rubs its eyelid on paths.

On horseback we’ll travel day after day
We’ll stop at grey inns,
Where one makes many friends
And sleeps at night with the innkeeper’s daughter.

Under the walnut trees–where the wind passes by, heavy like a garden of wells,
We’ll play chess
Like two old pharmacists
And my sister will read the newspapers in a hammock

We’ll undress naked on the hill
To scandalize the priest, to please the girls,
We’ll walk like peasants with large straw hats
We’ll bathe near the mill wheel
We’ll lay in the sun without coyness
And they’ll steal our clothes and the dogs will bark at us…

1915

 

Translation © 2007 by Victor Pambuccian. All rights reserved.

English

House under construction with dried branches, like spiders, in your scaffolding
Rise to skies with serenity
Until the clouds will have served as curtains
And the stars: relief for lamps on balconies in the evening.

Between two chestnut trees burdened like discharged patients
Grew the Jewish cemetery – out of boulders;
On the outskirts of town, on a hill,
Crawl graves like worms.

The yellow dogcart waits for us at the train station
In me reeds get torn with a paper rustle
I’d like to come to an end slowly all across the country
And that my soul would hesitate like a dancer on a string.

Roaming the woods are
Gypsy beggars with ashen beards
That you’re afraid to meet
When the sun rubs its eyelid on paths.

On horseback we’ll travel day after day
We’ll stop at grey inns,
Where one makes many friends
And sleeps at night with the innkeeper’s daughter.

Under the walnut trees–where the wind passes by, heavy like a garden of wells,
We’ll play chess
Like two old pharmacists
And my sister will read the newspapers in a hammock

We’ll undress naked on the hill
To scandalize the priest, to please the girls,
We’ll walk like peasants with large straw hats
We’ll bathe near the mill wheel
We’ll lay in the sun without coyness
And they’ll steal our clothes and the dogs will bark at us…

1915

 

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