GPOY: Kicsiny falum ott születtem én…
By my violet-eyed little sister
I sent home, saying I’d be coming,
that I’d do some work on the fences
and put the rose-bushes to bed.
I heard that my mother baked some cakes,
sieving flour for them from
the bottom of the sack, the drawer’s corners,
and dusted off her floury apron.
She laid the table with a clean cloth,
warm goat’s milk was in the mug,
my white shirt, spread out freshly ironed
shone waiting for me on the bed.
My father sliced tobacco leaves
for me to blow smoke-rings; he’d gathered up
a basketful of dry stalks and shavings
and lit a fire, so I wouldn’t shiver:
white paper won’t keep out the cold.
From early morning they stood at the gate,
shuffling their feet, coughing now and then,
looking up at the sky, then down the street,
they smiled at the boy herding the cattle,
they’d picked a bouquet of numb Michaelmas daisies.
As I didn’t come, they stood there felled
by frost, only their sighs rustling;
the autumn wind was breaking loose
scattering thick rime down their heads.
— Ferenc Juhász, “Violet-eyed little sister”, trans. Kenneth McRobbie & Ilona Duczynska
GPOY: Meine (geistliche) Geburtsort
Nobody knows why everything around here is so placental, but everybody realizes that it’s normal, because here everything is normal. This is my town.
A town made of Liptauer cream cheese, Lipizzaner horses and Lilliputians of roast chicken, bauernschmaus, liver dumplings and liver sausage, a rhyme, a phrase, a proverb and perhaps not even that but only a waistline, a shoe size, a collar size, a hat size and perhaps not even that but only the family vault of Maria Theresa and Franz Josef and the children Kalifati, Rübezahl, Krampus, and Nikolo Christkindl and Andreas Hofer, who died of scarlet fever, whooping cough, measles, chicken pox and Basedow’s disease.
In the municipal hospital, where the saviour was born into the world, the saviour of Kahlenberg, who went upstream to Kriau to free Richard Lowenherz from Mauthausen, but now he too is dead and buried at the central cemetry, to sleep forever side by side with Lueger and Seitz Kaltenbrunner and Mozart. There he lies with Dollfuss and Fey and Robert Stricker of the Zionist league, and Prince Eugene, who freed Vienna from the Turks, and the heroes of the Karlmarxhof and the heroes of the Heimwehr, and nobody knows how there can conceivably be such a city.
Which calls itself the teat of the occident and has suckled nothing but madness.
— Jakov Lind, from Ergo, trans. Ralph Manheim
GPOY: Kodály’s Cello Sonata, op. 8 - János Starker
George Lang on the Székelys:
Their origin is lost in the mist of the chaotic eighth to eleventh centuries, but they are probably descendants of Hun-Bulgarian tribes. Quite different in looks, in life-style and even in dialect from the rest of the Hungarians, living in forests and mountains populated with fairy-tale images, they are droll and fantastic figures. They live in a world that is one part reality, one part poetry, and one part self-created mythology. You can “feel” them instantly listening to much of the music of Bartók; and if you are fortunate enough to hear the great cellist János Starker play Kodály’s Solo Sonata, you will instantly understand the spirit of the székely people. Even though they share the same ideas about cooking as the rest of Hungary, because of their special historical and geographical advantages and no doubt unusual talents, they have developed and kept a remarkable culinary entity. To my mind, it’s the most interesting part of the Hungarian kitchen.
[H]e is known for his patrician stage presence, preferring to let the music do the emoting. He quotes his long-time friend and colleague, György Sebők, who said, “Create excitement. Don’t get excited.”