Attila Jozsef

(11 April 1905 – 3 December 1937 / Hungary)

Attila Jozsef
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Attila József was one of the most important and well-known Hungarian poets of the 20th century.

Attila József is the best known of the modern Hungarian poets internationally. His poems have been translated into many languages and he is taught in world literature classes around the globe. Hailed during the communist era of the 1950s as Hungary's great "proletarian poet", his life, personality, and works are now being re-evaluated with the current celebrations of the centenary of his birth.

His first volume of poetry was A szépség koldusa (1922); at that time he was 17 and still in school. József studied privately for a year, and then entered the University of ... more »

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Best Poem of Attila Jozsef

The Seventh

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.

When you must fight to survive,
let your enemy see seven.
One, away from work on Sunday,
one, starting his work on Monday,
one, who teaches without payment,
one, who learned to swim by drowning,
one, who is the seed of a forest,
and one, ...

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