Forced March by Clive Wilmer
I fell beside him. His body - which was taut as a cord is, when it snaps - spun as I fell. Shot in the neck. 'This is how you will end, 'I whispered to myself' keep lying still. Now, patience is flowering into death. "Der springt noch auf,' said someone over me. Blood on my ears was drying, caked with earth. Postcard IV'[We are] fortunate in having the marvellous translations of Clive Wilmer and George Gomori, translations which are very fine poems in English, and which in the compact intensity of their lines can hit the reader like a stab in the heart.' - Peter Gilbert, "Jewish Quarterly"."Forced March" is a new edition of Radnoti's selected poems, in the powerful and moving translations of Clive Wilmer and George Gomori. Poet Dick Davis explains why this book is so important: 'Radnoti has emerged as the major poetic voice to record the civilian experience of World War II in occupied Europe. His poems are an extraordinary record of a mind determined to affirm its civilization in the face of overwhelming odds. He is one of the very greatest poets of the twentieth century, and Clive Wilmer's and George Gomori's versions are by far the best that exist in English.' By the time the Second World War broke out, Miklos Radnoti was already an established poet. When the Nazis took over his home-town of Budapest, Radnoti was sent to a labour camp at Bor in occupied Serbia. Then, in 1944, as the Germans retreated from the eastern front, Radnoti and his fellow labourers were force-marched back into Hungary. On 9 November, too weak to carry on, he and many comrades were executed by firing-squad. When the bodies were exhumed the following year, Radnoti was identified by a notebook of poems in his greatcoat pocket. These poems, published in 1946 as "Foaming Sky", secured his position as one of the giants of modern Hungarian poetry.