The Scream [ Krik ] - Edvard Munch

      Krv je moje svjetlo i moja tama.
         Blazenu noc su meni iskopali
      Sa sretnim vidom iz ocinjih jama;
         Od kaplja dana bijesni oganj pali
      Krvavu zjenu u mozgu, ko ranu.
      Moje su oci zgasle na mome dlanu.

Sigurno jos su treperile ptice
   U njima, nebo blago se okrenu;
I cutao sam, krvavo mi lice
   Utonulo je s modrinom u zjenu;
Na dlanu oci zrakama se smiju
I moje suze ne mogu da liju.

Samo kroz prste kapale su kapi
   Tople i guste, koje krvnik nadje
Jos gorcom mukom duplja, koja zjapi -
   Da bodez u vrat zabode mi sladje;
A mene dragost ove krvi uze,
I cutio sam kaplje kao suze.

Posljednje svjetlo prije strasne noci
   Bio je bljesak munjevita noza,
I vrisak, bijel jos i sad u sljepoci,
   I bijela, bijela krvnikova koza;
Jer do pojasa svi su bili goli
I tako nagi oci su nam boli.

O bolno svjetlo, nikad tako jako
   I ostro nikad nisi sinulo u zori,
U strijeli, ognju; i ko da sam plako
   Vatrene suze, s kojih duplje gori:
A kroz taj pako bljeskovi su pekli,
Vriskovi drugih mucenika sjekli.

Ne znam, koliko zar je bijesni trajo,
   Kad grozne kvrge s duplja rasti stanu
Ko kugle tvrde, i jedva sam stajo.
   Tad spoznah skliske oci na svom dlanu
I rekoh: "Slijep sam, mila moja mati,
Kako cu tebe sada oplakati..."

A silno svjetlo, ko stotine zvona
   Sa zvonika bijelih, u pameti
Ludoj sijevne: svjetlost sa Siona,
   Divna svjetlost, svjetlost koja svijetli!
Svijetla ptico! Svijetlo drvo! Rijeko!
Mjesece! Svijetlo ko majcino mlijeko!

Al' ovu strasnu bol vec nisam ceko:
   Krvnik mi rece: "Zgnjeci svoje oci!"
Obezumljen sam skoro preda nj kleko,
   Kad grc mi saku gustom sluzi smoci;
I vise nisam nista cuo, znao:
U bezdan kao u raku sam pao.

 

      II

 

Mokracom hladnom svijestili me. Cuske
   Dijelili, vatrom podigli me silom;
I svima redom probadali uske
   Krvnici tupim i debelim silom.
"Smijte se!" - ubod zapovijedi prati -
"Oboce svima pred krst cemo dati!"

I grozan smijeh, cerekanje, grohot
   Zamnije, ko da grohocu mrtvaci;
I same klace smete ludi hohot
   Pa svaki bicem na zartve se baci.
A mi smo dalje u smijanju dugu
Plakali, paznih duplja, mrtvu tugu.

Kada smo naglo, ko mrtvi, umukli
   (Od straha valjda, sto smo ipak zivi),
U red za uske otekle nas vukli,
   I nijemi bol na stranu sve nas privi;
(U muku culi iz sume smo pticu):
Provlacili su kroz uske nam zicu.

I svaki tako, kada bi se mako,
   Od bola strasna muklo bi zarezo.
"Sutite!" - rikne krvnik - "nije lako,
   Al' potrebno je, da tko ne bi bjezo."
I nitko od nas glavom da potrese
I drugom slijepcu ljuti bol nanese.

Krvozednike smiri zican lokot
   I umorni su u hlad bliski sjeli;
I zacuo se vode mrzli klokot
   U zarku grlu, i glasno su jeli,
Ko poslije teska posla; zatim stali
Jadan sa drugim da se grubo sali.

Zaboravili kao da su na nas:
   Zijevali, vjetre pustali su glasne,
"Eh jednu malu vidio sam danas..."
   Dobaci netko, uz primjedbe masne.
I opet klokot hladna vina ili vode
Trgne sijepce - zica me probode.

 

      III

 

U mome redu pocela da ludi
   Neka zena. Vikala je: "Gori!
Ljudi, gori! Kuca gori! Ljudi!"
   A zica ljuto pocela da pori
Nabreknute, grozne nase usi.
Na tle se zena ugusena srusi.

"Dupljasi! Core! Lubanje mrtvacke!
   Sove! U duplju dat cemo vam zere,
Da progledate! Vi, corave macke!"
   Zarezi pijan koljac kao zvijere
I slijepcu nozem odcijepi lice
Od uha, sto se zaljulja vrh zice.

Urlik i teski topot slijepe zrtve
   (Sto bjezec kroz mrak uvis noge dize),
I brz trk za njom, sred tisine mrtve,
   I tupi pad, kad lovca noz je stize.
O, taj je spasen! - rekoh svojoj tami,
Ne opazivsi da nas vode k jami.

Srce je muklo supljom grudi tuklo;
   Tad druga srca preko zice zacuh.
Lupanje ludo naprijed nas je vuklo.
   (Sto srca skacu, kad u mraku placu!)
I od te lupe progledah kroz rupe:
U jasnom sjaju misli mi se skupe.

I vidjeh opet, ko jos ovog jutra,
   Duboku jamu, juce iskopanu.
Naregnuh sluh, da cujem, kad unutra
   Uz tupi udar prve zrtve panu.
Ostrom svijesti odlucih da brojim:
Ja, pedeseti, sto u redu stojim.

I cekao sam. Skupljao sam tocne
   Podatke: tko je vec nestao straga,
Tko sprijeda - zbrajo, odbijo, dok pocne
   Udaranje, padovi. Sva snaga
Mozga u jasnoj svijesti se napregnu,
Da promjene mi paznji ne izbjegnu.

Negde je cvrcak pjevo; oblak pokri
   Zacas u letu sjenom celo polje.
Cuo sam kako jedan krvnik mokri,
   A drugi stao siroko da kolje.
Sve mi to zasja u sluhu ko u vidu,
Sa bljeskom sunca na noznome bridu.

 

      IV

 

Kad prva zrtva pocela da krklja,
   Cuh meki udar, i mesnata vreca
Padase dugo. Znao sam: u grkljan
   Dolazi prvi ubod, medju pleca
Drugi, a ruka naglo zrtvu grune
U jamu, gdje ce s drugima da trune.

Netko se mrtvo ispred mene slozi
   Il iza mene, riknuvsi od straha,
A ja udarce silnom svijesti mnozih,
   Odbijajuci pale istog maha,
Mada sam svakog - sto kriknu, zagrca -
Cutio kroz ugriz u dno srca.

Covjek iz jame jeco je ko dijete,
   Tek priklan; cikto jezivo mu glasak.
Strepih, da racun moj se ne pomete.
   Tad buknu u dnu bezdna bombe prasak.
Tlo se zaljulja. Klonuce me svlada.
Nestala u spas poslednja mi nada.

Al silna svijest paznjom me opsjednu:
   U sluh se zivci, krv, meso i koza
Napregli. Zbrojih trideset i jednu
   Zrtvu; sezdeset i dva boda noza.
Sluso sam udar, kojom snagom pada,
I meni opet vratila se nada.

Na jauk iz bezdna sada nova prasne
   Bomba uz tutanj. I mrtva tjelesa
Padahu sad uz pljuske manje glasne,
   Kao u vodu, povrh kase mesa.
Uto ocutjeh, da po krvi klizem.
Protrnuh: evo, i ja k jami stizem!

 

      V

 

O vidio sam, vidio sve bolje,
   Ko da su natrag stavljene mi oci:
I bijelu kozu, i noz koji kolje,
   I zrtve (kao jagnjad, sto se koci
Casak pred klanje, al u redu blize
Korak po korak mirno k nozu stize).

Bez prekidanja red se dalje mico
   - Ko da na celu neko nesto dijeli -
Nit je tko viko, trzo se, narico;
   Na zezi strasnoj tiho su nas zeli
Ko mrtvo klasje, koje jedva susti.
(To se cula krv sto iz grla pljusti.)

Korak po korak posli smo; stali opet:
   Krkljanje, udar, pad i opet korak.
Zacuh zvuk jace. Ukocen, ko propet,
   Stadoh. Na usni tudje krvi gorak
Okus ocutjeh. Sad sam bio treci,
Sto jamu ceka u redu stojeci.

Strasna mi tama, od sljepoce gora,
   Sav um pomuti i na cula leze,
I za njom svjetlost ko stotine zora:
   Iskro! Strijelo! Plamene! Snijeze!
Silno svjetlo bez ijedne sjene,
Ko ostar ubod igle usred zjene.

Drug se preda mnom natrag k meni nago,
   Kao od grca; onda je zastenjo,
Naprijed posrno, uzdahnuo blago -
   I tihi uzdah s krkljanjem mu jenjo.
Surva se, pljesnu kao riba. Zine
Preda mnom prostor bezdana praznine.

Sve pamtim: naprijed zaljuljah se, natrag
   Bez ravnovjesja - kao da sam stao
Jezive neke provalije na prag,
   A iza mene drugi ponor zjao.
Bijela strijela u prsi mi sinu,
Crna me sinu pleci. U dubinu.

 

      VI

 

U bezdanu uma, jeza me okrijepi.
   Osjetih hladno truplo gdje me tisti,
Hladnost smrti da mi tijelo lijepi.
   Strah svijescu sinu: Neka zena vristi!
U jami sam - tom zdrijelu naseg mesa;
Ko mrtve ribe studena tjelesa.

Lezim na lesu: kupu hladetine,
   Mlohave, sluzne, sto u krvi kisne,
I spas sa jezom iz leda me vine:
   Svijest munjom blisne, kada zena vrisne.
Okrenuh se, u groznici tad k vrisku,
Pruzih ruku: napipah ranu sklisku.

I prvi puta sva zivotna snaga
   Nad lesevima stala da se skuplja;
Na vrisak skrenuh ruku, i u duplja
   Lubanje zaboh prste; tijela naga
Ko da su sva zavristala u jami -
Sav pako jeknu jezivo u tami.

Bomba ce pasti! Uzasnuh se prvo;
   U grcu strasnu zgrabih rukom nize.
Zakoljak nadjoh grozan. Les se rvo
   Sa mnom i na me poceo da klize,
Krkljo mu grkljan u krvavoj rani;
Korake zacuh i glasove vani.

O boze moj, zagrlila me zena
   Sad zagrljajem druge svoje smrti:
Kako joj koza lica nagrbljena...
   Starice! Bako! I uzeh joj trti
Koscate ruke, i zarko ih ljubih.
Cinilo mi se: mrtvu majku ubih.

Cuo sam kako umiruci stenje,
   I pozelio ludo da ozivi.
Sve leseve tad molih za oprostenje.
   Ocutjeh tvrdu usnu gdje se krivi -
Obeznanih se. Kad sam opet skido
Mrak nesvijesti, jos sam gorko rido.

 

      VII

 

Usutjeh. Sam medj truplima lednim,
   A studen smrti na ledja mi sjela,
Na udove. U ledu mrtvih zednim
   Vatrama nepca, jezika i zdrijela.
Led smrti suti. U njemu pako gori.
A nigde vriska, da samoca ori.

Taj grozni teret, sto na meni lezi,
   Ni smrtnim ledom nece da priusti
Hladnocu grla; a biva sve tezi;
   Odjednom skoro viknuh: voda pljusti!
Cujem gde s vrha po truplima tece;
Ah, studen mlaz! - al pece, pece, pece!

Po goloj kozi po ledjnome jarku,
   Niz trbuh, prsa, slabine i bute
Potocic studen pali vatru zarku,
   Dube u mesu kanalice ljute.
I kad na usnu mlazic zarki kapno,
Opaljen jezik kusnu zivo vapno!

Puna je jama: na lesine liju
   Vapno, da zivim strvine ne smrde.
O hvala im, nas mrtve sada griju
   Plamenom svoje samilosti... Tvrde
Leseve cutim: trzaju se goli,
Ko mrtve ribe, kad ih kuhar soli.

Taj zadnji trzaj umiruceg zivca,
   Taj cudni drhtaj, na kojem sam plivo,
Ucini da sam blagosiljo krivca:
   O gle! Jos truplo kraj mene je zivo -
To starica me hladnom rukom gladi,
Jer zna da moji ne prestase jadi!

 

      VIII

 

Kad sam mrtvi val zivota stiso
   Korake zacuh ko daleku jeku;
Netko je jamu par puta obiso;
   I nasta mir, ko mir u mrtvu vijeku.
Pomakoh nogu, stegnuh lakta oba -
Ko grobar, kad se izvlaci iz groba.

Zaprepastih se: lesevi se micu,
   Klizu nada me, polako se ruse -
Smiju se, placu, hropcu i vicu,
   Pruzaju ruke i bijesno me guse...
Osjecah nokte, straznjice, bokove,
Trbuhe, usta, sto me ziva love.

Prestravljen stadoh. Stadose i oni.
   Sad je tezina manja. Mrtva noga
Pala mi preko ramena. Ne goni
   Nitko me vise! - Od penjanja moga
Ruse se mrtvi! - rekoh sebi: - To se
O vratu tvome splele zenske kose.

Prostrujo hladan zrak na moja usta
   Kroz sloj leseva: izlazu sam blizu!
I srknuh utopljenicki: krv gusta
   Kroz nosnice u grlo ostro briznu.
Smijo sam se - al da me netko tako
Nakreveljena vidje, taj bi plako.

Il bi od straha sledio se, nijem
   Pred tom rugobom. Jer, sto da se tjesim:
Odsad ce ljudi mislit da se smijem
   Kad placem, i da placem kad se smijesim.
Ta prazna duplja, gnijezda grozne tame,
Sjecat ce svijet na crno zdrijelo jame.

I sama sebe osjeco sam krivim,
   Sto ostavljam u bezdanu te mrtvace,
Jer zrak je ovaj ziv... a ja ne zivim...
   I cekah da me opet natrag bace.
Al rana zivim bolom: ziv si! rece.
Sabrah se. Vraga! S njom se spusta vece.

 

      IX

 

O nikad nisam ocekivo tamu
   S tolikom ceznjom. Pazi! rosa klize
Niz trupla dolje do mene, u jamu!
   Uzaren jezik poceo da lize
Kaplje sa ruku, nogu, mrtvih tijela,
Sto su se na me ko zlijeb nadnijela.

Pomamno sam i divlje se penjo,
   Gazio prsa i trbuhe grubo -
I kad bi mrtav zrak iz trupla stenjo,
   Nisam vec trno. Vuko sam i skubo
Dugacke kose, uspinjo se mesom,
Podjaren zedjom kao ludim bjesom.

Nisam osjeco bola, straha, stida;
   Obarah les za lesom, grabih, plazih
Po njima ko po zemlji, sto se kida.
   A mozda svoju mrtvu sestru gazih,
Susjeda vukoh, lomih njeznu dragu.
Zedj mi je dala bezumlje i snagu.

Kad sam se divlje iz jame izvuko,
   Zaboravih svijest, oprez, da l je mrko:
Tlom krvavim sam puzo, tijelo vuko
   Do trave: zvijerski, zivinski je srko;
Uranjo u nju, jeo je i guto
I ko po rijeci livadom sam pluto.

Dozvah se: usta, punih trave, lezim,
   Gorim, ledenim: u teskoj sam mori.
Spasen! O, kamo, kamo sad da bjezim?
   Zadrhtah: pjesma krvnikova ori.
Daleko. Nasim mukama se ruga.
I mrznja planu. Ostavi me tuga.

 

      X

 

Odjednom k meni miris paljevine
   Vjetar donese s garista mog sela;
Miris, iz kog se sve sjecanje vine:
   Sve svadbe, berbe, kola i sijela,
Svi pogrebi, naricaljke, opijela;
Sve sto je zivot sijo i smrt zela.

Gdje je mala sreca, bljesak stakla,
Lastavicje gnijezdo, iz vrtica dah;
Gde je kucaj zipke sto se makla,
I na traku sunca zlatni kucni prah?

Gdje je vretena zuj, miris hljeba,
Sto s domacim sturkom slavi zivot blag;
Gdje su okna s komadickom neba,
Tiha skripa vrata, sveti kucni prag?

Gdje je zvonce goveda iz stale,
Sto, ko s daljine, zvuk mu kroz star pod
U san kapne; dok zvijezde pale
Stoljeca mira nad sela nam i rod.

Nigde placa. Smijeha. Kletve. Pjesme.
Mjesec, putujuci, na garista sja:
Ugasnuo s dola dalek jecaj cesme,
Crni se na putu lesina od psa...

Zar ima mjesto bolesti i muka
Gdje trpi, pati, strada covjek ziv?
Zar ima mjesto, gdje udara ruka,
I zivis s onim koji ti je kriv?

Zar ima mjesto gdje jos vriste djeca,
Gde ima otac kcerku, majku sin?
Zar ima mjesto gdje ti sestra jeca,
I brat joj stavlja mrtvoj na grud krin?

Zar ima mjesto gdje prozorsko cvijece
Rubi jos radost i tazi jos bol?
Zar ima veceg bogatstva i srece,
Nego sto su skrinja i klupa i stol?

Iz sume, s rikom gora, prasak muko
   Zatutnji. Za njim tanad rasprseno
Ciknu, ko djeca njegovo. Pijuko
   Nada mnom zvuk visoko, izgubljeno.
Bitka se bije. Osvetnik se javlja!
Osvijetli me radost snazna poput zdravlja.

Planu u srcu sva ognjista rodna,
   Osvetom buknu krvi prolivene
Svaka mi zila, i ko usred podna
   Sunce Slobode razbi sve mi sjene.
Drzec se smjera garisnoga dima,
Jurnuh, poletjeh k vasim pucnjevima.

Tu ste me nasli lezati na strani,
   Braco rodjena, neznani junaci;
Pjevali ste, i ko kad se dani,
   Siroka svjetlost, kao bozji znaci,
Okupala me. Rekoh: zar su snovi?
Tko je to pjevo? Tko mi rane povi?

Ocutjeh na celu meku ruku zene;
   Sladak glas zacuh: "Partizani, druze!
Pocivaj! Muke su ti osvecene!"
   Ruke se moje prema glasu pruze,
Bez rijeci, i dosegoh njezno lice,
Kosu i pusku, bombu vidarice.

Zajecao sam i jos i sad placem
   Jedino grlom, jer ociju nemam,
Jedino srcem, jer su suze macem
   Krvnickim tekle zadnji puta. Nemam
Zjenice da vas vidim i namam moci,
A hteo bih, tugo! - s vama u boj poci.

Tko ste? Odakle? Ne znam, al se grijem
   Na vasem svjetlu. Pjevajte. Jer cutim,
Da sad tek zivim, makar mozda mrijem.
   Svetu Slobodu i Osvetu slutim...
Vasa mi pjesma vraca svjetlo oka,
Ko narod silna, ko sunca visoka.

BLOOD is my daylight, and darkness too.               
Blessing of night has been gouged from my cheeks                    
Bearing with it my more lucky sight.                
Within those holes, for tears, fierce fire inflamed                     
The bleeding socket as if for brain a balm –                
While my bright eyes died on my own palm.               

While played, I never doubt, God's feathered creatures,
Reflected still in them, and clouds' procession;    
But all I felt were my blood–spattered features,
Bruised gulfs in that once brillant profusion.    
Haw radiant lay my eyeballs in my hand,
Yet from those eyes no tear could more descend!

Then ever other fingers ran the warm
Coagulating blood my slaughterer found    
By the profounder agony of holes he formed
For better grip, more sensuously to wound;    
But me the softness of my blood enthralled,
And I rejoiced as blood were red tears falling.

The final light before the frightful night
The lightning swooping of the polished knife,   
The cry too white still in my blinded sight,
The bleach-white bodies of the murderers,   
Who stripped their torsos for their sweaty task –
Was dazzling even to my blinded mask.

O painful daylight, never so hard yet
Or penetrating did you break the East   
With fiery arrow; I might have thought I shed
Teardrops with leaping flames that seared my cheeks   
Through all that hell so many lightnings brent,
So many cries of other victims rent.

What time that furious conflagration fanned,
All that I knew of time were callouses for eyes,    
Hard-grown and aching; and could hardly stand.
And only then my slippery eyeballs fingered   
And knew – and cried: My sight, O Mother mine, is gone.
How shall I wepp when your life too is done?

Then dazzling daylight like a myriad carillons
From endless gleaming bell-towers in my crazy   
Brain illumined like the lights of Zion,
A lovely light – a light which sanctified –   
Bright birds, bright river, trees and, brilliant
Boon pure as mother's milk, still brighter moon.

Now came a torture I had never guessed –
My murderer commanded "Break your own eyes!"    
I nearly prayed for mercy to the beast,
But slimy-fingered spasmic hands obeyed –   
And then no more I heard, no more could tell,
To empty nothyng faltered, and I feel.

 

II                  

 

WITH chilly urine woke me, and with blows
Belaboured fire back to my head, and then   
These executioners pierced our ear lobes
With blunted, clumsy spikes, each one in turn –   
"Laugh, laugh!" they ordered, as they thrust their tools,
"Ear–rings are fire for force-converted fools!"

Then horrid laughter, sobbing, loud and wild
Reverberated as if dead men laughed;    
But crazy humour hindered those defiled –
To silence us our wilted flesh they flayed;   
But endless now in our long choking wit,
With gaping sockets our dead sorrow wept.

Then suddenly like corpses we were still
(No doubt from fear lest we were still alive) –   
Tugged by our swollen ears they dressed us, till
The silent torture turned us all awry   
(But birds that sang to us, not one did tire)
While through our tattered lobes was drawn a wire.

So each man of us if the least he starts
Howls dully when he feels the frightful pain.   
"Silence" - the executioner – "we know it smarts,
But we're not going to let you go again!"   
Not one of us could even shake his head
But give another blinding pain instead.

That warder wire appeased our cruel captors,
And, tired, nearby they sat down in the shade;    
Refreshing water gurgle then was heard
Down parching throats, laud pleasure as they ate,   
As if they'd laboured hard, till they began
To pass foul, slimy jokes from man to man.

Then even seemed our presence was forgotten;
We heard them yawn and break their wind at leisure.   
"Oh boy, I saw a skirt today" – a rotter
Spued dirty observations from his tongue.   
Thus passed their noon, in wine or cooling water -
Ours passed on burning wire, strung for the slaughter.

 

III                   

 

NOW in my rank a girl went mad and shrieked
Her warning – "Men! Fire! the house is burning,   
Fire!" And now the wire strung through us wreaked
New agony and rent distorted gaps   
In all our monster ears until she fell
And choking lay, oblivious to hell.

"Blind sockets, deaths-head skulls, you purblind rats,
We'll doctor you with hot coals in those holes    
To make you see again, blind blinking cats!"
And, as he spoke, a drunken murderer lent   
Leering forward, and slashed down through a face,
To leave its ear still dangling, wired in place.

We heard the victim's cry, his frenzied pace
As, thus released, down maddened dark he ran;   
Through mortal silence then we heard the chase,
And, as the knife struck twice, his heavy fall.   
So one is saved, I told my night of it,
No knew they led our steps towards the pit.

I heard the heart dull in my hollow breast
And through the wire to others' beating harked;   
To that dumb drum we pressed our steps ahead
(Haw loud it rumbled through the weeping dark!)   
By that tattoo I saw through holes for eyes
My thoughts assemble as in bright sunrise.

And saw again, as I had seen at dawn,
The hollow pit which yesterday we dug;    
I strained my hearing and at last it came –
That sudden flat sound as each victim fell –    
Knife-edged, my thought itself began to tell
The forty-nine before me, known so well.

And, waiting fingered memory's index,
Ticked whom they took before, behind, all round –   
So add, subtract, until the following blows
Descend and new men die; till all my strength   
Of mind to dazzling clarity was grown.
To let no change take place, and pass unknown.

Somewhere cicadas sang; a single cloud
Brushed fleeting shadow over everything.    
I heard one murderer nature easing loudly,
The while another, heated, wildly slew –    
All this engraved like sight, and glittered clear
As sun upon the knife-edge, in my ear.

 

IV                  

 

WHEN the first sacrifice began to choke
I heard a silken sound, a fleshy sack   
Which settled slow. I knew that first the throat
They stuck, then in between the shoulder-blades   
A second thrust, then swiftly pushed away
To fill the pit, together to decay.

Before my blindness, limp and dead, one fell,
Then with a yell of fear, behind my back,   
While my keen senses noted down each blow
And every person dead, struck from my list –    
No man nor girl who cried or sudden wept
But in my heart – my wound – their agony leapt.

A comrade in the pit now whimpered like a child,
Throat but half stuck – that asound so ominous    
Alarmed me lest I lost the list compliled –
Then down below a hand–grenade they tossed –    
The firm earth rocked. A weakness bend my shape;
What hope now had I that I might escape?

Yet consciousness triumphant still possessed me;
Now nerves and blood and flesh and skin became    
A straining ear; I counted thirty–one –
Sixty and two more strikings with the knife –   
I heard a blow which fell with savage force,
And once again my folly took its course.

When now another cry for intermission
Brought yet another hand-grenade, new dead    
Began to fall with thuds of less precision,
As if on water, o'er a slush of flesh;    
And so in blood I feel my foot-soles sink –
A spasm shook me – I had reached the brink.

 

V                   

 

OH, THEN I saw, with suddenly better sight,
As if my eyes returned – but to my back -   
That whitened skin, that knife prepared to strike,
The victims too who while last seconds tick   
Stand stiff and still, yet automatic steal
By inches toward the knife their nerves can feel.

Uninterruptedly the ranks moved slowly on
- As if some distribution was ahead -   
Not one that shouted, started back or groaned,
While steadily in sultry air death mowed    
the deadripe corn, which fell with only sound
The fluent blood which spurted to the ground.

Thus step by step, with briefest pause between -
The croak, the knife, the thud; the queue pace    
Nearer, nearer still. Strained on a rack,
I backed, felt on my lips the bitter taste,   
Another's blood, and thus became the third
Who waited at the pit till it – occurred.

The darkness more disgusting through my blindness
Blasted my mind and cluttereb every sense -   
And sense bevond a thausand daybreaks cried
Intense – O arrow! O flame! O bewildering snow!   
Light, come at last devoid of any shade,
With needles in my aching eyeballs played.

The comrade next bent suddenly towards me,
As if a cramp had gripped him, then he groaned,   
And, stumbling forward, set a soft sigh free,
That lonely sigh, consumed in his death–rattle -    
Swung downward, flopping like a fish. With this,
Before me gaped the bottomless abyss.

Each detail fresh today – my body swayed
In space – as if upon the final rung    
Of endless nothing balanced there before me,
And at my back another nothing hung.    
A whitened arrow was my own throat slit,
Black death the stab behind; before – the pit.

 

VI                  

 

BUT in the pit, by quivering heart made keen,
I felt the chilling corpse that pressed me down,    
And my own clamour too, that webbed me in.
Fear flared my senses when a woman shrieked!    
I am in the pit, cold maw that took our flesh,
That took our corpes clammier than fish.

I lay upon a corpse – a mould of brawn,
A flabby slimy thing in bloody steep;   
Yet thought was rescued by that human cold,
And flashed new lightning when a woman screamed.    
I turned in fever quick towards the sound
And stretched my hand – to touch a soft, wet wound.

For the first time my every ounce of strength
Knotted together over all the dead;   
To hide that shriek I held my breath and pressed
Deep fingers in my sockets - bodies naked   
Shrieked together in the darkened pit,
And hell re-echoed with the din of it.

Then my new fear awoke – grenades would fall!
With awful spasm at first I thrust and gripped    
A woefully butchered limb – the body crawled
To writhe with me, and, writhing, slipped,    
The blood-lapped gurking gullet gaping wide -
When footsteps came and voices spoke outside.

O heavens above, a woman's tense embrace
Of second death contained me and I felt   
My fingers ridging in her wrinkled cheeks -
O whitened hairs! O Granny! and I held    
Her bony hands and warmed them with my breath,
Felt I had caused my own dear mother's death.

I heard how she lamented as she died,
How passionately still che longed to live.    
I begged all those now dead for absolution.
I felt a twisted lip grown swiftly stiff -    
And fainted then. When once again I stripped
The darkness from my mind, my flesh still wept.

 

VII                   

 

STOPPED – alone – of all cold corpses, first!
But chill of death subtly up my spine;    
My limbs – congealed in choirs of dead men - thirsting
With gums and tongue and gullet throbbing fire.   
The ice of death is still. Inside, hell flamed,
Though not a cry, to give that silence shame.

Yet that lewd burden pressing on my body
Not even with the ice of death can slake    
My burning throat; that ever deader sod
Confines me – till I nearly shriek for water -    
Then water sprinkles, near and far by turns,
On, cooling shower! that burns, burns, burns!

Over the naked skin, the vale of ice,
Down belly, breast and flanks and thighs at once    
That cooling rivulet sets teasing fire,
And hollows angry furrows in the flesh.   
A burning droplet on my stiff lips traced,
My tongue revealed to me the quicklime taste.

The pit chockful, on carcases they poured
That fire, to spare the world our stealing stench:    
I thanked them that, now dead, they tried to warm
Us with that charity ... I felt wrench    
Of naked corpses as their sinews turned,
Like long dead fishes by crude saline burned.

That final spasm of nerves yet not quite still,
That wondrous shudder on which I now floated    
Compelled me bless the guilty one for this:
When look! a corpse beside me was alive -   
Grey-haired old granny's icy hand caressed
Me, now she knew I still had not found rest.

 

VIII                  

 

WHEN tat dead wave of life again subsided,
I caught the sound of steps as from afair -   
Somebody twice walked slowly round the site,
Then peace shone steady, like the evening star.   
I bent, to rise, hitched feet up, one by one,
Like digger when his graveyard job is done.

Then what surprise! The corpses moved about,
Slid over me and slowly settled in;   
They laughed and wept, groaned and sighed and shouted,
Reached for me – gripped me – furiously throttled -   
I felt their nails, their buttocks, and their thighs,
Their mouths and bellies corner me alive.

From terror I was still – then they still too -
Their weight decreased, a dead leg on my shoulder   
Dangled limp. They had pursued, but now
Pursed no more! – my climbing had undone    
The dead – I told myself. – That mangled nosse
About your neck, a dead girl's locks have tangled!

Soft air now brushed its coolness on my mouth
Between the dead – then I was near escape!    
And as if drowning, gulped; and thickened blood
Through nostrils spurted down my parching throat.   
I laughed aloud – yet who saw me with gob
Of comrade's blood bedecked, would sorely sob.

Or fear would petrify him, smite his speech
Before monstrosity like me – for why    
Deceive myself when mast think I grin
If i am weeping, or, if smiling, cry?   
Yet, in these empty sockets none may now forget
Like their tenebrous depths, the deadly pit.

For I could not relieve myself of guilt
Were I to leave my dead in that dark hole.    
The air's alive – but do I also live?
I half expected they would clutch me to them -    
But then my mortal wounds "You live!" declared.
Be brave! Day's done – the evening damp is here!

 

IX                  

 

OH, NEVER did I wait for darkness' coming
With such desire. For now the dew was seeping   
Over the upper bodies down to me!
My inflamed tongue set greedily to lick   
Drops from the arms and legs of those now dead,
And down contorted gutters nectar bled.

Like a wind creature, maddened then, I tried
To clamber out, on bosom or on belly    
Treading, non when those things like bellows sighed
Did I pay heed, but clutshed and cramped my fringers    
In the still hair, wherever dead flesh held,
Like maddened dog by burning thirst compelled.

Now was I free from pain and fear and shame,
Free to betray and spurn the dead, and crawl    
On bodies as on sodden ground that crumbled.
Was it my sister that I trod – I cared not;   
Some friend I mauled, girl's fragile bones I shattered -
My maddened thirst was master – what else mattered?

When like a beast I'd clambered from the pit,
All wisdom, caution, fled, I cared not any more   
Who saw, but in blood crawled about and dragged
Myself to pasture, quadrupedal snorted,   
Rooted burning lips, and gaped, and sank
My oblivious body as I crept and drank.

At last twast done; with grass–filled mouth I lay
Twixt fire and ice, exhausted beyond sense,   
But saved! though beffled – whither could I flee?
A shudder broke me. Far aff the tyrants sang -    
With dirty catch their dismal triumph they shared.
When my soft mood was gone, and hatred flared!

 

X                   

 

MY NOSTRILS suddenly had caught the scent,
The wind–borne echo of our burning homes!   
From ashes rose my youthful years' content -
The weddings, harvests, dances, and long hours    
Beside the hearth – the funerals with bells and wakes,
All that life's sower sows and death's scythe takes.

That simple happiness, the window's glint;
Swallow and young; or windborne garden sweet -
Where? – The unhurried cradle's drowsy tilt?
Or, by the threshold, sunshine at my feet?

The spindle's whirring, or the sweetish scent
Or bread – the chairs, the nook, that all require
But pease – that squere of sky the window bent -
Door hinges' gentle creak, the cosy fire –

The cowbell clanging stately from the byre? -
Afair, it seemed, through the floor boards seeped in
Drip drip in sleep, while one by one the stars
The ages lit, o'er villages and kin.

No weeping – only oaths and bawdy yells.
The moon above a ruined village stands.
no more below the house the well–hoist spelling
Peace. Death's odour only fills our land.

Is there a place where suffering and pain
Men suffer, and endure, but yet alive?
Is there a place where men forget again
And live with those who wronged them by their side?

Is there a place, where children cry delight,
A father has a daughter – son, a mother?
Where even dreaded death is calm, and white,
With lilies for farewell, placed by brother?

Is there a place, where flowers on the sill
Enhance a pleasure or a grief diminish?
Could there be happiness or wealth more full
Than oaken table, chest, and humble bench?

The forest suddenly rattled, magnified
From hill to hill, and bullet scattering squeaked   
Like thunder children near me; high and wide,
Their errand missed, they sighed, and disappeared.    
Comrades were come, the avenging battle started!
Light as strong as health lit up my heart!

All the hearths of home blazed up in me,
And every sinew swelled with vengeance for    
Our bodies they had pillaged – I could see
The midday sun shrink gloom to liberty.   
The smoking village as my nostrils' guide,
I strove to take my stand my men beside.

Then it was you found me, still by the path
Oh my own kin, my unknown warriors!   
Singing you came, like the first quickening swath
Of fruitful light, which, heralding the day,    
Boathed me. I tried to ask – for had I swoonned,
To dream of singing hands? o bowhund my wounds?

Upon my forehead moved a girl's cool fingera,
Upon my ears sweet music "Comrade partisan,    
Rest now in peace, your agonies are requited!"

I reached my hands in dark towards her voice,   
Without a word I touched the tender face,
The hair, grenades, and rifle af my grace.

Began to sob and never have ceased yet,
With throat alone, for now I have no eyes;    
With heart alone, for now my tears the knife
Of murderers gourged away. I am deprived    
Of eyes to see you, and that strength is gone
Which I so need, to fight too, till we've won.

But who are you, and whence? I only know
That your light warms me. All – Sing! for I can feel    
At last I live; even though I'm dying now,
'This in sweet Liberty, with Vengeance stolen   
From death. Your singing gives my eyses back light,
Strong as our People, and our sun as bright.

Jama - The Pit - La fosa comun

[ Poema - Poem 1943 ]

 

Ivan Goran Kovačić
Ivan Goran Kovacic

Ivan Goran Kovatchitch

(1913 - 1943)

[ Hrvatska - Croatia ]

Tombeau de Goran Kovatchitch   -   Paul Éluard

                                                                                                       (1895 - 1952)

 

Jure Kastelan  (1919 - 1990)   o  Goranovoj JAMI:

"I dok bude posljednji covjek govorio hrvatskim i ljudskim jezikom uopce,
JAMA ce snagom umjetnickog dosega biti trajna osuda zlocina i himna covjekove slobode,
istine i ljepote,
himna ljudskog dostojanstva."

 

art - slika:   ©   The Scream [ Krik ] -  Edvard Munch

                                                                     (1863 - 1944)

 

MIDI music:  Adago in G -  by   Albinoni Tomaso

                                                         (1671 - 1750)

Preveo sa hrvatskog na engleski jezik    -   ©  translation by Alec Brown

 

[ Ivan Goran Kovacic ]

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