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Eternal Moment Sándor Weöres

Eternal Moment

Sándor Weöres

Published December 1st 1988
ISBN : 9780856461866
72 pages
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 About the Book 

Sándor Weöres (1913 – 1989) was a Hungarian poet and author. Although he was born on 22 June 1913 in Szombathely, he was raised in the nearby village of Csönge, he was considered a very bright and keen individual wanting to read and learn from anything that he came in contact with, including books from diverse nations and cultures - this at a time when the established learning was focused inwards and Eurocentric. As a poet influences such as Taoism, Indian philosophy, in fact both Eastern and European mysticism, would resurface in his writings and become major factors in his work, he would even go on to translate the Tao Te Ching (his version still the most widely read in Hungary). At the age of nineteen, his poetry was being published in the influential journal Nyugat (West) through the acceptance of its editor, the poet Mihály Babits. He attended the University of Pécs, originally to study law, before switching to geography and history and ultimately receiving a doctorate in philosophy and aesthetics. His doctoral dissertation The Birth of the Poem was published in 1939.In 1937 he made his first journey outside of Hungary, going first to Manila for a Eucharistic Congress before visiting Vietnam and India. During World War II he was drafted for compulsory labour, but was not sent to the front. After the end of the war, he returned to Csönge, living for a short time as a farmer.The Lunatic Cyclist (1930)Sometimes one whose soul is puresees himself as if he mightbe some cycling lunaticas he pedals through the nighthe the lunatic evokeswho can neither see nor hearwhile the pebbles his wheels flickare flung twanging through his spokeswheels that cut into the eartharound him weave a dusty veilthe stars above a lazy herdsleep in their narrow sky-tallwhile the wind soaks up his sweatand shakes out his bushy hairthe lunatic continues yetto pedal through the moonlit airsometimes one whose soul is puresees himself as if he mightbe that lunatic cycling therewith mounting fury through the nightas clear to him as bread and winemirrored by the light of daythe moon that sprinkles round abouton every side its netted raycold the light and cold the windthat blows the lunatic’s hair backwhile dust humiliates his wheelsand unvirginal is his trackinfinite is the cyclist’s trackand the soul that’s pure and brightwatches while the lunaticpedals weeping through the night.Trans: William Jay SmithIn 1948 Weöres left the country again residing in Italy until 1949. In 1951 he returned to Hungary, settling in Budapest where he would remain for the rest of his life. The imposition of Stalinism in Hungary after 1948 silenced Weöres and until 1964, with very little able to be published, one of the exceptions was “A hallgatás tornya” (The Tower of Silence), published during a brief period of relative freedom prior to the revolution of 1956.On Death (1937)Dont mind if you die. Its just your bodys shape,intelligence, separate beings which are passing.The rest, the final and the all-embracingstructure receives, and will absorb and keep.All incidents we live through, forms we see,particles, mountain-tops, are broken down,they all are mortal, this condition shows,but as to substance: timeless majesty.The soul is that way too: condition diesaway from it—feeling, intelligence,which help to fish the pieces from the driftand make it sicken—but, what underlies,all elements that wait in permanence,reach the dear house they never really left.Trans: Allan DixonIn 1964 he published “Tűzkút” (The Well of Fire) in Paris and his poetry became officially tolerated in Hungary. Weöres also translated writers into Hungarian, including the works of Ukrainian national poet Taras Shevchenko, the Georgian poet Rustaveli, the Slovenian poets Oton Župančič and Josip Murn Aleksandrov. He also translated Shakespeares Venus and Adonis and Henry VIII, T. S. Eliots The Waste Land, the nonsense poems by Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll, and the complete poetry of Stéphane Mallarmé. In 1970 he received the Kossuth Prize, the nation’s highest award. English-language translations of his poetry include If All the World Were a Blackbird (1985) and Eternal Moment (1988).Sandor Weöres, confounded the critics of his homeland throughout his career, from the very start he was interested in experimenting with form, he would try his hand at everything from automatic writing to creating nonsensical poems without regard to any semantic meaning, before translating them using diverse methods. He was searching for methods to express his thoughts in a way that could only be done via a language he saw as specific to poetry & could not be expressed in a standard literal form. This he pursued through a period of history when poets and writers where expected to follow the socialist ideal and write realist poems that praised the state, that provided propaganda to the regimes ideology. Although recognised by his peers he was seen by the state apparatus as a propagator of nihilist ideas, and thus his poetry was not published until the political climate changed. He continued regardless constantly expanding his ideas, taking everything from nursery rhymes to long mythical poetry. In 1972 he published Psyche, an anthology of poetry and prose by a female poet called Erzsébet Mária Psyché Lónyay, whose work had lain forgotten since the early 19th century, and who Weöres rediscovers: this was later turned into a film called Narcissus & Psyche by Gábor Bódy (1980). He also edited an influential collection of Hungarian poetry Három veréb hat szemmel in 1977 (Three sparrows with six eyes).Renaissance (1980)It was the era of masksAnd the bird saluting the well.Eyes opening to the knowledgeCobbled the dark alleysSolid ruins stepped from the pastAnd mixed with present dilapidation.Wombshaped, pluckable instrumentscontended with huge baggy keyboards.Born in painsinceritywas promptly dying.Anyone who thought to speakwas already overheard.The city was full of expectation-the country with countless flowers,and unsuspected silky tunesflew, like a mist of cuckoos, far off.Trans: Hugh MaxtonI found out about Sandor Weöres, through my local charity bookshop, where I came across a copy of Eternal Moment (Selected poems), this anthology of poetry covers Sandor’s poetry from 1928 – 1980, giving the reader an overview of this Hungarian writers oeuvre, it was edited by Miklós Vajda, who also wrote the introduction, it has an after word by Edwin Morgan and some drawings by Sandor Weöres. This collection was published in 1988 by Anvil press Poetry.This is a wonderful & interesting collection of poetry that shows this writer finding his own voice, but not just that it also demonstrates that, despite the whole apparatus of governmental opinion against him, he was proved right in the end becoming a much respected, loved and emulated poet, whose work has been set to music, made into film & is a fixture in Hungarian life whether through the nursery rhymes heard as a child or through verse, film & music whilst growing up.http://parrishlantern.blogspot.co.uk/...