Introduction to Literary Theory

                             to the andrás of all times 

This text calls for nothing less than your

undivided attention. Stroke you hand,

down the spine of the book and slip

a finger in as the pages separate,

deeply inhale the perfume of it,

let you eye caress the poem word by word,

run a fingertip down the page,

tracing precisely the curvature of

uneven line-ends, feel on your bare flesh

the tingle of rugged, spicy language,

taste by taste, word by word, savour it in

your mouth, let the sounds take shape on your lips,

search it out with every sense at once, let

your breathing warm it into life,

feel the wondrous, the blessed stuff

thrill in every syllable, strip it,

set it free from its humdrum meaning,

for then it will let you enter, absorb you,

envelop you, become one with you,

plumb the depths of its meaning, there

so to abandon yourself to its rhythm,

that at its touch no longer you mind but

your very self pulsates in the text, for

with you there can be nothing but it,

and when you're thus immersed listen, listen,

and you'll hear rapture sound to you alone

a call that may not be repeated, but

which needed you to make it come. 

Translated by Bernard Adams