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1789 + 0

While the richest children become fat
The poorest children die of hunger
and although they say that we are alike,
it is always they who are right.
They say we are sitting in the same boat
both the officer and the sailors.
But how I then try and carry myself
so it's always I who row.
So it is always I who row.
 
If freedom for the lame one
is to walk precisely where he wants,
and if the silent can be emperor
if he only says so,
yes, then is the shoemaker's boy freedom
to stay by his father's trade
and it is freedom for the poor
that they can buy what they want.
That they can buy what they want.
 
They say we belong together,
that we are all brothers,
that we will learn to live with each other.
But when the times become scarce
and you will try it like a bond,
then all talk about brotherhood ends
and you take what you can.
 

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This Hole of a City

Versions: #2
Even if I cover my ears,
The noise outside keeps on slipping in.
The sound of flowers dying in acid rain.
 
Those flowers were supposed to bloom the very next day.
The world is full of such meaningless fates.
All because meaning is the only thing that we crave.
A kite screeches at the mountain range,
Weeping for it cannot return to its place.
 
My goals are like garbage piled high.
But from a certain distance I couldn’t look away.
My ambition leaps aboard the departing train.
And I just can’t help but hang my head low in shame.
 
You and despair together sitting right beside,
With desperation sitting so close behind.
Sharing the train with emptiness inside,
You miss the next stop to happiness.
 
The emptier you are, the more poems keep filling your head.
Isn’t that just so true? Isn’t that just so true?
 
We’ll never tell anybody that we’ve been hurt.
But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t hurting.
There are no nice people in this world.
They've just lost their weapons in this hole of a city.
 
All of us have died a dog’s death,
And yet that’s when we always seem to forget.
Both how to trust and how to love,
Like ornaments that wrap up this hole of a city.
 
I just don’t feel like doing much of anything.
As for what I want to do there's really nothing.
Don’t even do anymore soul searching.
Couldn’t care less about responsibility.
 
I’ve long forgotten about those that I’ve lost.
But I’ll never forget that I’ve forgotten them.
Their souls always live next to us,
Like we’ve been spending all of our lives haunted by them.
 
Through the transmission tower in an open field comes the sound,
Of a song overflowing with dreams. Of a song overflowing with dreams.
 
All the people who say they don’t want to die,
Persecute the people who say that they want to.
At a certain shop the very next day,
They sold all their machine guns in this hole of a city.
 
I won’t ever pick up these bones of yours.
To devote your very life to fulfill some order,
Is the very essence of what we call a mission.
And to hell with all of that in this hole of a city.
 
We don’t even have the power to prevent all these things from leaving all of us where we're found.
All we sing about are our grievances,
Songs that have become the modern hits of this town.
For everything, it's so. For everyone, it's so.
This city's all hollow, just a giant empty hole.
On the side of the road, a vending machine's toll; a laugh inside your throat, prints made out of your sole.
 
Dreams, hope, and all of the grudges that I hold,
The longing to meet you, tell you to leave me alone,
Wrapped up in this Molotov cocktail.
To hell with it all as I throw it into this hole of a city.
 
In this wasteland now bereft of all life,
So does this story reach its final curtain call.
How great it would be if that were true.
But I guess I’ve grown attached to this hole of a city.
 
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Truth of Being

The shadow of the broken trough is melting.
With finding our truly beloved ones.
Do not get drunk with the truth of way of life.
You better drink the truth of being itself
 
© Copyright հեղինակային իրավունքներ Derechos de autor זכויות יוצרים Telif hakkı Авторские права:
Александр Листенгорт Ալեքսանդր Լիստենգորթ Alexander Listengort אלכסנדר ליסטנגורט

Funeral elegy

Cover me with flowers if it has to be done.
Let the man with the scythe come.
And if my eyelids are sewn,
at least don't laugh behind
[my back].
 
Let [him] whisper in my hear
and turn me, the bee, into honey,
and let [him] live in my shadow,
even though the drunken boat1
sinks.
 
Believe me, in this world,
never has anyone thanked me.
Wherever it was, whenever2it was,
whoever it was, wherever3,
[everything] went away.
 
It is for [the sake of] my frail and dead flesh
that I pray you to do so:
4I shall not be admitted into earth
unless you lower there too...
 
Let remain here of my past,
in this freshly ironed vault,
the wedding suit and the [cardboard] box,
the bone
of my tongue and my chin.
 
The fingernail can hardly be pointed,
making the hand [look] like a spider,
the eyes go quiet and the cornea
is weighing
from under the cemented eyebrow arch.
 
Crown me with mauve flowers
if you see my life fleeing,
and prevail upon darkness,
you shall read the lights of the funeral
oration.
 
Take care of me if you can,
form an ave [Maria] with your mouths,
let God place it or bring it,
be Him [the only one to stand] on the step of my closed
door.
 
Cover me with flowers if it has to be done.
Cover me with flowers if it has to be done...
 
  • 1. allusion to Rimbaud's famous poem ''
  • 2. Manset's versions reads 'oncques ce soit', 'oncques' being an archaic word used in negative time complements like 'never more' or 'nothing ever'. This version might have tried to replace it with something more understandable, changing the meaning (wherever instead of whenever)
  • 3. again the original reads 'où que ce soit' (wherever it might be), but this version just repeats 'whoever' (in present tense instead of past)
  • 4. line breaks and ellipsis are misleading here. These two lines are linked with the next stanza.
Do whatever you want with my translations. I'm not rich enough to sue you anyway.