Parti Nagy Lajos: (navigare necessaire est) ((navigare neszesszer est) in English)
(navigare neszesszer est) (Hungarian)
Ha képeslapot kap a lélek,
(navigare necessaire est) (English)
When a postcard is sent to a soul
it will be pinned in an eye-catching spot,
the cabinet-door, swinging the sea softly
like beautiful hair.
People keep the surging waves inside too,
staying mirror-smooth on the surface,
so their blue short-sleeved shirt
doesn’t betray their pumping heartmuscle.
But whereas human shirts are short
the heart is very long,
and can hardly bear it
if the circumstances of life get a bit passive.
Which is not to say
that to be worse off mightn’t be good –
but the standard of living is attaining depth,
and that’s no cakewalk.
The entitlements of thought are no bad thing,
and as a reconnaissance exercise
the soul sets off to explore all tourist resorts
from Hawaii to Balaton.
The mind can see much further
than the perfidious eye
if you fasten it like a periscope
to the tripod of fantasy.
Wish you were here and there you are,
Rimini and Gizèh
and you take a luxury cruise
just by walking to the cabinet,
where the block of flats
with its many first class cabins
transports the happy holiday-makers
along the postcard waves.
For deep inside everyone
a great ocean-liner is anchored
and the most difficult thing is
when in summer about this time
the mirror of the soul
honks over the bronze-red twilight
and opens a slightly wider view
on our lives.
But they don’t even look around,
when the light, together with
sweet fancy, drains away
through the sluice gates of evening,
and when they touch bottom
on the dark silt of reality
they lock themselves back
in their own selves in vain.
And what can you lean towards
from your balcony railing,
so you just pack up your sea
and tie it and the rest with elastic,
life really is a big rubber band
jamming us close and checking
the seep of grey juice,
navigare necessaire est.