Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/litimag/article-abstract/20/3/253/5210861 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 11 January 2019 SZILARD BORBELY One Seder evening, the rabbis were discussing atonement. After a long silence, Reb Teitelbaum commented that Cain had been plotting to kill Abel for a long time. He didn’t slay him from sudden passion. The murder took place on the Sabbath, because Cain wanted to desecrate all of Creation. And with this murder he could prove that the Lord has no power over human beings, because anyone can take a life. Cain struck the Sabbath ﬁrst, with his axe. Then he beat Abel’s skull, his blows ever heavier, until it broke apart in pieces. When he stopped, you couldn’t tell it was Abel anymore. Midnight had already passed, when Cain laid down his axe. Cold were the vaults of Heaven, the stars shone bright in the sky. They went with the Sabbath as it ﬂed. —translated from the original Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet. Literary Imagination, volume 20, number 3, p. 253 doi:10.1093/litimag/imy040 Advance Access Publication November 27, 2018 Excerpted from FINAL MATTERS: Selected Poems, 2004–2010 by Szil ard Borb ely, translated by Ottilie Mulzet. English language copyright 2018 by Princeton University Press. The original poems collected and translated in this volume are selected from the published collections Halotti pompa: Szekvenci ak, 2nd ed. (Bratislava: Kalligram, 2006) and A Testhez: Od ak es legend ak (Bratislava: Kalligram, 2010). Reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press
Literary Imagination – Oxford University Press
Published: Nov 1, 2018
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