Van Gogh's PrayerBy János Pilinszky
Translated By Clive Wilmer and George Gömöri Read the translator's notes
A battle lost in the cornfields
and in the sky a victory.
Birds, the sun and birds again.
By night, what will be left of me?
By night, only a row of lamps,
a wall of yellow clay that shines,
and down the garden, through the trees,
like candles in a row, the panes;
there I dwelt once and dwell no longer—
I can't live where I once lived, though
the roof there used to cover me.
Lord, you covered me long ago.
Source: Poetry (March 2008).