Vasko Popa


The Little Box

Translated by Anne Pennington

The little box grows her first teeth
And her little length grows
Her little width her little emptiness
And everything she has

The little box grows and grows
And now inside her is the cupboard
She was in before

And she grows and grows and grows
And now inside her is the room
And the house and town and land
And the world she was in before

The little box remembers her childhood
And by wishing really hard
Becomes a little box again

Now inside the little box
Is the whole world all teeny-weeny
Easy to slip in your pocket
Easy to steal easy to lose

Look after the little box

Notes on this poem

This translation is by Anne Pennington and revised by Francis R. Jones, and was published in Vasko Popa’s Complete Poems 1953-87 (Anvil, 1997, 2011). It is updated from the version by Aleksander Stefanovic published in Modern Poetry in Translation No.1. It is published here by permission of Carcanet Press.