11 April: Day of Hungarian Poetry

Culture National

The National Day of Hungarian Poetry is held on 11 April, on the birthday of Attila József, one of the greatest Hungarian poets.

Attila József is the best known of the modern Hungarian poets internationally. His poems have been translated into many languages and he is taught in world literature classes around the globe.

One of his most famous poems is “Mama”.

attila józsef

 

Mama

 

On Mama now my thoughts have dawdled

all of a week. Clothes-basket cradled

creaked on her hip; she’d climb the stairway

up to the drying-attic’s airway.

 

Then, for I was an honest fellow,

how I would shriek and stamp and bellow!

That swollen laundry needs no mother.

Take me, and leave it to another.

 

But still she drudged so quietly,

nor scolded me nor looked upon me,

and the hung clothes would glow and billow

high up above, with swoop and wallow.

 

It’s too late now to still my bother;

what a giant was my mother–

over the sky her grey hair flutters,

her bluing tints the heaven’s waters.

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