George Szirtes is a poet and translator of Hungarian literature, including works by Zsuzsa Rakovsky, Agnes Nemes Nagy and László Krasznahorkai. His latest poetry collection, Bad Machine, is published by Bloodaxe. He teaches at the University of East Anglia.

Esprit de l'escalier

I recorded a good deal of my father. The pitch was low, the tone soft, the register a kind of dark brown with rough edges. I can almost see the voice like that. I can hear it, as it were, inside myself. Not because my voice resembles his, but because it echoes in my ribcage even now.

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