Kolár: Housing Estate

By George Szirtes b. 1948 George Szirtes
What you cannot see through those windows
beyond the bare hill
is the hand resting on the table,
is the man lying still
on the bed, is the vague gesture
of  the young woman in the hallway
as she remembers something that happened yesterday,
is the mouse hesitating under the draining board,
is the twelve year old boy putting on a record
of  Wiener Blut that he once saw
his parents waltzing to.

All that you see is the all-but-naked child
on the all-but-naked hill against a naked sky,
as if  what you could not see were the question
and she the reply.

Source: Poetry (February 2008).


This poem originally appeared in the February 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

February 2008
 George  Szirtes


George Szirtes was born in Hungary and emigrated to England with his parents—survivors of concentration and labor camps—after the 1956 Budapest uprising.

Szirtes studied painting at Harrow School of Art and Leeds College of Art and Design. At Leeds he studied with Martin Bell, who encouraged Szirtes as he began to develop his poetic themes: an engaging mix of British individualism and European fluency in myth, fairy tale, and . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Relationships, Family & Ancestors


Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.