ATTILA JOZSEF, It deeply hurts-1936


from lurking death

(like a mouse frightened ‘til it squeaks)

when inflamed

you take refuge

in a woman’s arms, in her lap her knees.

Not just the soft

warm thighs lure.

but you are thrust there by the sheer must too

that is why all

who find a woman

want to embrace ‘til the mouth turns white too.

Doubled burden

and doubled treasure

when you love and cannot find your mate

as homeless you are

as helpless is

the wild beast when doing its needs.

And you shall find

no other refuge

though threaten your mother with a knife

and yet there was

someone who would

have understood these words; but refused to be my wife.

There is no place

among the living

creatures for me in this state. Left alone,

my head just whirrs,

like a rattle I feel

in the hand of a child who is left alone.

For and against

what should I do to her?

No shame on me to find just only one

solution, since

an outcast I am

frightened by dreams and dazed by the sun.


peels off from me

like clothes from others in happy love

but where is it

written that she

should just watch me suffer alone?

Both baby

and mother

do suffer when the child is born

but since

for this song

just cash I’ll get; with shame I am torn.

Come and help!

you little boys, let your eyes

burst where she passes by.


squeal under boots

and say to her: it deeply hurts.

Faithful dogs

get under wheels

and bark at her: it deeply hurts.


big with child: abort

and sob to her: it deeply hurts.

You whole and sound ones

fell over and break your bones

and mumble to her: it deeply hurts.

You men,

who have torn at each other for women,

don’t hold it back but say: it deeply hurts.

Horses, bull

who are being castrated to draw the yoke

cry out to her: it deeply hurts.

Mute fish

get caught on hooks under the ice

and gape up at her: it deeply hurts.

All living things

everything, which quivers with pain:

the place where you live, the garden should burn;

with charred bodies

as she falls asleep

come to her bed and yelp with me: it deeply hurts.

Make her hear this

as long as she lives

for caprice, her own worth she has denied


from the living fugitive

the very last refuge she has deprived.


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