the day of poetry

11th of April is the National Poetry Day in Hungary. This day is a birthday of one of the most known Hungarian poets in the 20th century, Attila JÓZSEF. He was born in 1905 in Budapest. His father abandoned the family when he was only 3 and his mother barely could support her three children, so he and one of his sisters were raised by foster parents. He died in 1937, was only 32 years old.

More details about Attila József’s life on wikipedia.

11th of April has been the day of poetry since 1964. We salute to the Hungarian lyre with literary performances, book displays, meetings with poets, fine art exhibitions.

Attila JÓZSEF: Lullaby

The sky’s blue eyes are falling shut,
shut, too, the house’s many eyes;
fields sleep beneath their coverlet –
so go to sleep now, little Blaise.

Ants rest their heads upon their knees,
the drowsy. wasps are in a daze,
their business and buzzing cease –
so go to sleep now, little Blaise.

The streetcar snores, its rumbling
dozes, forgetful of the days,
but rings its dream-bell, ding-a-ling –
so go to sleep now, little Blaise.

Asleep the jacket on the chair,
its torn sleeve dozes where it lies,
this day no further will it tear –
so go to sleep now, little Blaise.

The whistle snoozes, and the ball,
the woods and picnic holidays,
the favourite choccie-bar, and all –
so go to sleep now, little Blaise.

Distance, glass marble of the skies,
you will achieve in all your ways,
you’ll be a giant; close your eyes –
and go to sleep now, little Blaise.

A soldier, fireman, you will be!
shepherd, you’ll lead wild game to graze!
Mummy herself drifts off, just see –
so go to sleep now, little Blaise.

Translated by: Zs. Osvath; F. Turner
 
(As he wrote so many depressive and painful verses, I chose this nice little nursery rhyme from him. More poets on different languages are at babelmatrix.)



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