Attila József

Attila József

Hungarian poet
11 April 1905 — 3 December 1937

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My heart sits on the twig of nothing,
its little body shivering, dumb.

The battle which our ancestors once fought
Through recollection is resolved in peace.

All you arrive at in the end
is a sad, washed-out, sandy plain,
you gaze about, take it in, bend
a wise head, nod; hope is in vain.

That which your heart disguises
open your eyes and see;
that which your eye surmises
let your heart wait to be.

Desire - and all concede it -
kills all who are not dead.
But happiness, you need it
as you need daily bread.

He only is a man, who knows
there is no mother and no father,
that death is only what he owes
and life's a bonus altogether.

No field of victory, nor servile rope,
but a soft bed will be my end, I hope.
When, come what may, the inventory's done,
I died of life - I'm not the only one.

Mankind is not yet grown, I`m saying.
But he aspires, and thus he`s wild.
His parents - thought, and love undying -
may they watch over their lost child.

I love you
like a room likes light,
like a soul its flame,
like the body peace.
I love you
like the dying love life.

You know the poet never lies,
he`s either truthful or he dies.


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