Miroslav Holub

:

And what’s new

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Translated by George Theiner
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And what is new in the snow?
Footmarks diverging.
Golden patches, nacre patches,
as on the fleece of butchered lambs.

And what is new in the sand?
Distant cities,
a pillar rising from each.
Some kind of Lot’s wife,
turning back,
gently petrifying.

And what is new in the mirror?
Breasts like a pair of calves,
twins of the doe.
And King Solomon
telling lies.

And what is new within?
Like the fine hair-thread of a galvanometer,
like a river’s minute source,
someone is thinly laughing.
And therefore exists.

Please note that these translations were later revised, and can be found in Miroslav Holub: Poems Before and After (Bloodaxe Books, 1990), reproduced here by permission of Bloodaxe Books in a translation by Ewald Osers.