Hungarian poetry: Endre Ady

AdyEndreEndre Ady is one of Hungary’s best lyric poets. He was born in modern-day Romania in 1877, trained as a lawyer, and became a journalist. Through his poetry, Ady moved Hungarian literature beyond Sándor Petőfi’s celebrated contributions. Cynical, critical, and sometimes almost narcissistic, his poems protest the often-violent changes that were taking place in Austro-Hungary during his lifetime. They explore the nature of the Hungarian people, mysticism and religion, and love. Later in life, he developed a strong sense of pacifism quite unique among his contemporaries. Ady died in Budapest in 1919.

The following poem comes from Ady Endre: Válogatott Versek (Osiris Diákkönyvtár, 2006). Translation is my own.

Tavasz-világ

Tavasz-világ, havas világ, fehér világ
Világítsd meg, tavaszítsd meg
Ezt a szörnyü Tragédiát
S takard el már a vért virággal.

(1917. március)

Spring-light

Spring-light, snowy light, white light
Bring light, bring spring
To this horrible Tragedy
And mask the blood with flowers.

(March 1917)

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One thought on “Hungarian poetry: Endre Ady

  1. Pingback: Mid-year goals check-in | translation, untangled

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