Attila József

There are different artists in my world, and they all have a common point. One of them is Attila József.

He was one of the greatest Hungarian poets of the 20th century. (11 April 1905 – 3 December 1937). Although his first poems were published when he was 17, real renown came only after his death.

He didn’t have a good childhood, he began a difficult life in the midst of war, and the collapse of his family as well as financial problems, In his youth, his life became much harder because of the discordance of his thoughts with the world and society. His exploration of the path to peace and freedom, as well as the search for real love and innovations in poetry and literature, turned him into one of the brightest figures in Hungary. In 1937, he threw himself under the wheels of the train due to his depression and commited suicide at the age of 32.

József was attracted by Marxist ideology and became a member of the then-illegal Communist Party. In 1932 he launched a short-lived literary periodical, Valóság, and in 1936 became one of the cofounders of the review Szép Szó. In his own poetry József presented intimate pictures of proletarian life. He immortalized his mother, a poor washerwoman, and made her a symbol of the working class. He created a style of melancholy realism, infused with irrationality, through which he was able to express the complex feelings of modern men and reveal his own faith in life’s essential beauty and harmony.

But what makes a person make such an unconscious literary form? Where do these beautiful poems comes from?

If you set out in this world,
better be born seven times.
Once, in a house on fire,
once, in a freezing flood,
once, in a wild madhouse,
once, in a field of ripe wheat,
once, in an empty cloister,
and once among pigs in sty.
Six babes crying, not enough:
you yourself must be the seventh.
– Attila József

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Photo taken at: Budapest, Hungary

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