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József Tornai

  I’ll write my arm out in stars,
my legs in blood-boltered ash trees, so that words
          may be transmogrified into all my organs
                              one after another
                              but then
                      I’ll pull the pen from my hand,
           and dip it into the river’s icy form,
just as burning, molten
                         are usually snuffed out.

— József Tornai, from “Ars Poetica,” In The Face of Creation: Contemporary Hungarian Poetry, translated by Jascha Kessler (Coffeehouse Press, 1988)


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