A sentence about Tyranny, Illes Gyula

I am begining now a new book, a new Advanced toastmasters manual : Interpretative Reading

1st task read a story - it will be my neighbour's story about her childhood
2nd task read a poem - I just found the perfect one from my youth, translated very well in English
We read this after that the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was run down by Soviet tanks,
we copied it in our notebooks in secret and were stunned to learn that we lived in Tyranny
we were stunned to understand that our Communist countres were tyranny

Poems and poets are so powerful
Illes continued Petofi's trace who was the 1848 revolution poet - Petofi even died for it

Here is the translation

Egy mondat a zsarnokságról, 
                    by Illyes Gyula, 1950  
A Sentence About Tyranny  
                               Translated by George Szirtes

            Where tyranny exists
            that tyranny exists
                   not only in the barrel of the gun
                   not only in the cells of a prison

not just in the interrogation block
or the small hours of the clock
the guard's bark and his fists
the tyranny exists

not just in the billowing black fetor
of the closing speech of the prosecutor,
in the "justified use of force"
the prisoners' dull morse

not merely in the cool postscript
of the expected verdict
there's tyranny
not just in the crisp military

order to "Stand!" and the numb
instruction "Fire!", the roll of the drum,
            in the last twitch
            of the corpse in the ditch

not just in the door half open
and the fearful omen,
the whispered tremor
of the secret rumour

the hand that grips,
the finger before the lips,
               tyranny is in place
               in the iron mask of the face

 in the clench of the jaw
 the wordless O
 of pain and its echo
 and the tears

 of silence-breeding fears,
            in the surprise
            of starting eyes

    tyranny supplies
    the standing ovation,
        the loud hurrahs and chanting of the crowd
        at the conference, the songs

            of tyranny, the breasts
            that tyranny infests,
            the loud unflagging
            noise of rhythmic clapping,

            at the opera, in trumpet cry,
            in the uproarious lie
            of grandiose statues, of colours,
          in galleries,

            in the frame and the wash,
            in the very brush,
            not just in the neat snarl
            of the midnight car

            as it waits
            outside the gates

  tyranny permeates
  all manners and all states,
  its omnipresent eyes more steady
            than those of old Nobodaddy,

there's tyranny
in the nursery
in father's advice, in his guile,
in your mother's smile

        in the child's answer
        to the perfect stranger;

not just in wires with barbs and hooks
not just in rows of books,
but, worse than a barbed wire fence
            the slogans devoid of sense

 whose tyranny supplies
 the long goodbyes;
 the words of parting,
 the will-you-be-home-soon-darling?

  in the street manners, the meetings
            and half-hearted greetings,
            the handshakes and the alarm
            of the weak hand in your palm,

 he's there when your loved one's face
 turns suddenly to ice
            he accompanies you
            to tryst or rendezvous

            not just in the grilling
            but in the cooing and the billing,
in your words of love he'll appear
like a dead fly in your beer

 because even in dreams you're not free
 of his eternal company,
 in the nuptial bed, in your lust
            he covers you like dust

because nothing may be caressed
but that which he first blessed,
            it is him you cuddle up to
            and raise your loving cup to

in your plate, in your glass he flows
 in your mouth and through your nose
            in frost, fog, out or in
            he creeps under your skin

  like an open vent through which
  you breathe the foul air of the ditch
            and it lingers like drains
            or a gas leak at the mains

            it's tyranny that dogs
            your inner monologues,
            nothing is your own
            once your dreams are known

            all is changed or lost,
            each star a border post
            light-strafed and mined;
                   the stars are spies at window bars,

            the vast tent's every lamp
            lights a labour camp,
            come fever, come the bell
            it's tyranny sounds the knell,

confessor is confession,
he preaches, reads the lesson
       he's Church, House and Theatre
           the Inquisition;

  you blink your eyes, you stare
  you see him everywhere;
            like sickness or memory
            he keeps you company;

            trains rattling down the rail
            the clatter of the jail;
            in the mountains, by the coast
            you are his breathing host;

            lightning: the sudden noise
            of thunder, it's his voice
            in the bright electric dart,
            the skipping of the heart
            in moments of calm,
            chains of tedium,
            in rain that falls an age,
            the star-high prison-cage

            in snow that rises and waits
            like a cell, and isolates;
            your own dog's faithful eyes
            wear his look for disguise,

            his is the truth, the way
            so each succeeding day
            is his, each move you make
            you do it for his sake;

            like water, you both follow
            the course set and the hollow
            ring is closed; that phiz
            you see in the mirror is his

   escape is doomed to failure,
   you're both prisoner and gaoler;
            he has soaked, corroded in,
            he's deep beneath your skin

            in your kidney, in your fag,
            he's in your every rag,
            you think: his agile patter
            rules both mind and matter
           you look, but what you see
           is his, illusory,
                  one match is all it takes
                  and fire consumes the brake

            you having failed to snuff
            the head as it broke off;
his watchfulness extends
            to factories, fields and friends

  and you no longer know or feel
  what it is to live, eat meat or bread
            to desire or love or spread
            your arms wide in appeal;

            it is the chain slaves wear
            that they themselves prepare;
            you eat but it's tyranny
            grows fat, his are your progeny

 in tyranny's domain
            you are the link in the chain,
            you stink of him through and through,
                                                the tyranny IS you;

            like moles in sunlight we crawl
            in pitch darkness, sprawl
            and fidget in the closet
            as if it were a desert,

because where tyranny lives
everything is vain,
            the song itself though fine
            is false in every line,

for he stands over you at your grave,
and tells you who you were,
your every molecule
       his to dispose and rule.  


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