Endre 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, havas világ, fehér világ
Világítsd meg, tavaszítsd meg
Ezt a szörnyü Tragédiát
S takard el már a vért virággal.
Spring-light, snowy light, white light
Bring light, bring spring
To this horrible Tragedy
And mask the blood with flowers.