George Szirtes

(Budapest)

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George Szirtes (born 29 November 1948) is a Hungarian-born British poet, writing in English, as well as a translator from the Hungarian language into English. He has lived in the United Kingdom for most of his life.

Born in Budapest on 29 November 1948, Szirtes came to England as a refugee in 1956 aged 8. He was brought up in London and studied Fine Art in London and Leeds. Among his ... more »

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Best Poem of George Szirtes

Actaeon

O, my America, my Newfoundland
John Donne, 'Elegy 20'


O, my America, discovered by slim chance,
behind, as it seemed, a washing line
I shoved aside without thinking -
does desire have thoughts or define
its object, consuming all in a glance?

You, with your several flesh sinking
upon itself in attitudes of hurt,
while the dogs at my heels
growl at the strange red shirt
under a horned moon, you, drinking

night water - tell me what the eye steals
or borrows. What can't we let go
without protest? My own body turns
against me as I sense ...

Read the full of Actaeon

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