Miroslav Holub


And what’s new

Translated by George Theiner

And what is new in the snow?
Footmarks diverging.
Golden patches, nacre patches,
as on the fleece of butchered lambs.

And what is new in the sand?
Distant cities,
a pillar rising from each.
Some kind of Lot’s wife,
turning back,
gently petrifying.

And what is new in the mirror?
Breasts like a pair of calves,
twins of the doe.
And King Solomon
telling lies.

And what is new within?
Like the fine hair-thread of a galvanometer,
like a river’s minute source,
someone is thinly laughing.
And therefore exists.

Notes on this poem

Please note that these translations were later revised, and can be found in Miroslav Holub: Poems Before and After (Bloodaxe Books, 1990), reproduced here by permission of Bloodaxe Books in a translation by Ewald Osers.