Attila and Radnoti

Two Hungarian poets towering
Over my inadequate tongue
Penning the pain
The hunger of
To come.


2 Replies to “Attila and Radnoti”

  1. Josef Attila, though a tragic figure, is a national hero and a frame of reference of many poets in Hungarian literacy. Whereas Miklós Radnóti, a young Hungarian Jewish poet, was shot by Hungarian soldiers guarding him while on a forced march from Yugoslavia back to Hungary during the final days of World War II. When his body was discovered and exhumed nearly two years later, a small book of poems was found in his coat pocket. These poems, together with the rest of Radnóti’s work, solidified his reputation as one of Hungary’s greatest poets. Radnóti shared the experience of many Jewish artists and intellectuals in Central Europe during the early part of the 20th century, but his poetry brings out a particular and personal view of the Holocaust in Hungary. His work plays a unique role in the history of Central European culture as some of the most beautiful poems ever written in Hungarian, as a voice against the rise of totalitarianism, and as testimony to the destruction of Europe’s Jews.

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