Sylva Fischerová

July 8, 2015 Fischerova Sylva


—translated by the author, Joshua Mensch and A. J. Hauner


Words hung into silence
like a child’s legs
over the edge of a garden wall:
they couldn’t be finished
only cut off

A word
is a figurine
made of time
made for time
so that it’s time
now on display:
stiff Egyptian women
on tomb walls
chisel themselves
into time: the eternal
profile –
they left their other half
here on earth
Time’s always
in profile
it is a profile

Behind this wardrobe
there is no wall





Slova visela do ticha
jak nohy děcka
na zídce do zahrady
nedala se dokončit
jen useknout

figurína z času, udělaná
pro čas
co sám sebe staví na odiv:
znehybnělé Egypťanky
na zdech hrobek
tesají do času
samy sebe, věčný
svou druhou půlku
nechaly tady na zemi
Čas je vždycky
v profilu
je profil

Za touhle skříní není zeď,




Joshua Mensch grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada. His poems have appeared most recently in Brick, The Collagist, The Economy, and Smartish Pace. He lives in Prague, Czech Republic. He is a founding editor of B O D Y.

 A.J. Hauner assisted in the translation of Sylva Fischerová’s The Stomach of the Soul.

Sylva Fischerová, a distinguished classicist, teaches at Charles University in Prague. She has published ten volumes of poetry in Czech, and her poetry has been translated and published in numerous languages. Selections of her poems in English translation were published by Bloodaxe Books (The Tremor of Racehorses, 1990; The Swing in the Middle of Chaos, 2010). Stomach of the Soul, translated by the author with Stuart Friebert and A. J. Hauner, was published by Calypso Editions, USA, in 2014. She also writes prose, essays, and books for children.