Zita Izso: a poem


Photograph by Laura Veres


To Endure Until The Third Day

He told them to leave the mountain

when the time came,

to run around the lake three times,

praying inside like he had taught them;

to collect and pile

all the lost hope,

all the branches broken down

by the latest storm, brilliant with buds,

but they didn't know why

he – seemingly – abandoned them.

That day it would've been too early

for them to realise

he had given himself to them.

They couldn't blame themselves for this.

He'd left without switching the lights off,

so that they could find their way home

when they gave up searching for him.


Translated by Agnes Marton

Zita Izso is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Zsigmond Móricz Literary Grant, the Mihály Babits Literary Translator Grant and the NKA Arts Grant. She published her third poetry collection in 2018 under the title Éjszakai földet érés (Nighttime Landing).