Költészet Napja – a poem by Attila József

alapfok
A Költészet Napját ünnepeljük ma József Attila versével.

A Költészet Napját ünnepeljük ma József Attila versével.

11 April is National Poetry Day in Hungary. We celebrate poetry and remember one of the greatest Hungarian poets, Attila József, who was born on this day in 1905.

Let us celebrate both poetry and Attila József today with one of his well-known poems written for his own 32nd birthday and translated masterfully by Peter Zollman.

ON MY BIRTHDAY

To end my thirty-second year

I wrote myself a souvenir –

a pretty

ditty:

a quick impromtu memoir

saluting in this coffee-bar

my birth

on earth.

Thirty two years… Without a doubt

what Hungary has doled me out

was not

a lot.

I could have been a teacher, but

I wear my pencils to the butt

for just

a crust,

for I was sent down from Szeged

by the provost, that egg-headed

old so

and so

who picked on my ’With a Pure Heart’ –

To save the nation from my art

he barred

the bard

and drew his sword against my kind.

His words deserve to be enshrined

to shame

his name:

’Until I do give up the ghost

don’t dream of any teaching post’ –

I quote,

Unquote.

So what matter if I am banned

from Prof. A. Horger’s graduand

grammar

crammer?

I’ll teach my people, one and all,

much greater things than what you call

college

knowledge.

(Peter Zollman)

sources: Hungarian Cultural Centre London: https://www.facebook.com/hcclondon/posts/11-april-is-national-poetry-day-in-hungary-when-we-celebrate-poetry-and-remember/1257702474258746/; Homonnai Nándor – Petőfi Irodalmi MúzeumInfoPic, Közkincs, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17959708

Nézd meg ezt is:  The Unsinkable Violet Jessop

Vocabulary

to recite elszavalni
ditty dalocska
impromptu rögtönzött
to dole sy out kiosztani valakit
provost igazgató/felügyelő
to bar kizárni
to be enshrined ereklyeként őrzik
to shame megszégyeníteni
to give up the ghost meghalni
graduand végzős hallgató
(egyetemen, főiskolán)
crammer hencegés

 

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