Kalman Kalocsay: Sundown (From Esperanto)

The previous one I did by Kalocsay Somernokto "Summer Night" was from his cycle Malnovaj Madrigaloj "Old Madrigals", which, as the title suggests, consisted of several explorations of the European amatory ballad- with all the high-flown romanticism which that entailed (albeit with some clever subversions.) This poem, taken from the collection Streĉita Kordo "A Cord Stretched Taut"1, shows a different side of Kalocsay.

By Kálmán Kalocsay
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click to hear me recite the original Esperanto

The noonday gold is tainted copper-brown.
The sun with goodbye rays low on the sky,
A blinking tear-inflamed gigantic eye,
With backward gaze, goes off in a slow drown.

As if blood ebbed right from a heart, here lies
A red blaze on the window of the house.
A moment... and the spectral red is doused
And now the house lies plundered of its prize.

House in the dark. No light from lamp or wood.
Is the master asleep or mute for good
Never to wake to ray-rich dawn again?

All through the house: no light, no light, no light.
The muted window fixates on the night
With one dew-moistened, apathetic pane.

Shall we, my darling, ever meet again?

Note on the introduction:
1-The title is taken from Ludwig Zamenhof's Esperanto translation, from the Polish, of Eliza Orzeszkowa's Marta:
"W piersi Marty struna uczuć wyprężona do ostateczności pękła i wydała z siebie żałosnego jęku krzyk buntowniczy"

En la brusto de Marta la ĝis ekstremeco streĉita kordo de sentoj krevis kaj eksonigis ribelan krion kaj suferplenan ĝemon.

(In Martha's breast, the cord of feelings, stretched to its extreme, snapped and gave forth a piteous moan and mutinous shriek.)

The Original:


Jam iĝis kupro la tagmeza or'.
Ĉe l' horizont' la sun' adiaŭluma,
Okul' gigante granda, plorbruluma,
Rerigardante pasas drone for.

Kaj kvazaŭ sang' fluinta ĵus el kor',
Jen arda ruĝo sur fenestro doma.
Moment'... kaj estingiĝas ruĝ' fantoma,
Kaj jen la dom', rabite pri l' trezor'.

Malluma domo. Lumon lamp' ne ŝutas.
Ĉu l' mastro dormas, aŭ eterne mutas,
Plu lin ne vekos la maten' radia?

Mallum', mallum' mallum' tra l' domo tuta.
Rigardas nokton la fenestro muta
Kun ros-malseka vitro apatia...

Ĉu mi revidos vin, ho kara mia?

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