По повод Европейската година на езиците - 2001 в няколко страни се организира конкурс за превод на поезия. Победителите в националните конкурси ще участват в семинар във Великобритания. Стихотворението за превод е:

English Words от Джордж Сиртес

Моля изпращайте преводите си до 15 октомври 2001 г. в Британския съвет на ул. "Тулово" 7, София, в Секция "Литература и културознание", "За Конкурса за превод".


My first three English words were AND, BUT, SO:
They were exotic in my wooden ear,
Like Froebel blocks. Imagination made
Houses of them, just big enough to hang
A life on. Genii from a gezetteer
Of deformations or a sprechgesang:
Somehow it was possible to know
The otherness of people and not be afraid.

Once here, the words arranged their quaint occasions,
Minding their Manners, Waiting in the Queues
At Stops and Hatches. I got to know their walls,
Their wallpaper and decorative styles,
Their long louche socks, their sensible scuffed shoes.
Peculiar though: their enigmatic smiles
And sideways looks troubled my conversation
Swimming in clouds above the steam of kettles.

You say a word until it loses meaning
And taste the foreigness of languages,
Your own included. Sheer inanity
Of idiom: the lovely words are dead,
Their magic gone, evaporated pages.
But this too is a kind of spell: unread,
The vocables coagulate and sting,
Glow with their own electricity.

I cannot trust words now. One cultivates
The sensuous objects in a locked museum:
Their sounds are dangerous and must be heard
Voluptuously, but behind thick glass,
Their emptiness appals one. One is dumb
With surprise at their inertia, their crass
Hostility. They are beautiful opiates.
As brilliant as poppies, as absurd.

Published in The Budapest File (Bloodaxe, 2000)